Jane: Jane is an orphan who is at first raised by her aunt, Mrs. Reed and is then sent to Lowood School. Jane is considered plain, and learns to enjoy learning and living a simple life. When she goes to Thornfield Hall and is engaged to Mr. Rochester, she does not want to give up her industrious, simple life for one filled with gowns and jewels. When Rochester suggests that they go off together even though they cannot be married, Jane turns to God and finds the strength to leave him. She becomes the mistress of a school in Morton, and friend to the Rivers family. When she receives an inheritance from her uncle, Jane shares it with the Rivers, who she discovers are her family. She then finds Mr. Rochester and the two are married at last.
Mr. Rochester: Mr. Rochester is the master of Thornfield Hall. At first Jane finds him withdrawn, but she soon comes to love him and they are to be married. Jane leaves him when she learns that he already has a wife whom he has hidden because she is mad. He is at times serious and stern, but he claims sympathy, as he seems to have remorse for some aspects of his life. In the end he and Jane are married, and he recovers some of the sight he lost in the fire at Thornfield Hall.
Mrs. Fairfax: Mrs. Fairfax is the kindly housekeeper at Thornfield Hall. She hires Jane and is quite welcoming to her. She warns her about getting too close to Mr. Rochester.
Adele Varens: Adele is the ward of Mr. Rochester, and the girl that Jane is hired to be governess to.
Grace Poole: Mrs. Fairfax attributes all of the laughs Jane hears to Grace, and Jane at first thinks that Grace is responsible for trying to kill Mr. Rochester and then Mr. Mason. Jane cannot understand why she is let to stay, but then realizes that Grace is just the caretaker for the real perpetrator.
Bertha Antoinette Mason: Bertha is Rochester’s wife. She comes from a family with a history of madness and is locked up as she attacks those who come near her. She is described in animal-like terms, and in the end she sets fire to Thornfield and kills herself.
Mr. Mason: Mr. Mason is Bertha Mason’s brother. He comes to stop the wedding of Rochester and Jane.
Miss Ingram: Miss Ingram is the beautiful woman whom Rochester makes Jane think he is to marry. She is no longer interested in Rochester when he sends out a rumor that his fortune is not as large as it seems.
Mrs. Reed: Mrs. Reed is aunt to Jane and mistress of Gateshead Hall. She had promised to take care of Jane, but cares more for her own children and sends her to Lowood School. She also tries to sabotage Jane’s future by telling her Uncle that she is dead. Jane forgives her right before she dies.
Georgiana, Eliza and John Reed: These are the children of Mrs. Reed. They do not treat Jane well when she resides at Gateshead Hall. Georgiana is beautiful and turns out to be rather absurd and concerned with herself. Eliza is more industrious and concerned about her finances. John teases and beats Jane constantly and ends up an in-debt drunkard, finally killing himself.
Miss Temple: Miss Temple is the superintendent of Lowood School. She is sympathetic to the girls there and tries to help them. She is admired by Jane and becomes her friend when she becomes a teacher there herself. When Miss Temple gets married and leaves Lowood, Jane decides to leave as well, prompting her move to Thornfield.
Mr. Brocklehurst: Mr. Brocklehurst is the manager of Lowood School. He visits Gateshead to meet Jane, and then tells the teachers and students of Lowood that Jane is deceitful. He does not provide enough for the girls at the school, and after the fever killed so many girls, a committee is set up to help him.
Helen Burns: Helen is Jane’s first friend at Lowood. She does not complain about her position, but tries to be good, telling Jane that she should too. She eventually dies of consumption.
Bessie and Robert: Bessie is the nurse at Gateshead whom Jane becomes friends with, and Robert is the coachman. Jane learns they have been married.
John and Mary: John and Mary are the married couple that work at Thornfield and then take care of Mr. Rochester at Ferndean.