This is just a bit from my review on Goodreads (friend me!). Jane Eyre is obviously a great book so I wanted to take a more narrow look at it. It ended up being a bit on the negative side, still a great read though!
Although I consider Jane Eyre a manifold literary triumph, the strongest points in my mind right now are the few well defined complaints I have. Now I say complaints, but these are from a moral or sociological rather than literary standpoints. They do not detract from the story, they are not flaws, rather they are well composed elements of the story which I find disheartening but nevertheless essential.
First, I was fairly upset by the way Bertha Mason/Rochester was treated. Of course you have to take the cultural climate into account, and Rochester certainly could have sent her to an asylum or worse so I do not bear he or Bronte any ill will, but it is a sobering picture of how the mentally ill were viewed and treated during this time. If I have any objection, it is how she was painted as more of a villain rather than a victim of mental illness.