What makes Jane Eyre a Gothic Novel?
Some of the characteristics of a Gothic novel as outlined on the enotes link below are overblown language, bizarre characters, melodramamtic incidents, plots that contain elements of the fantastic, a mood of mystery, unexpected happenings occuring usually at night, and an innocent heroine threatened by unspeakable horror. Also, the hero of the novel is oftentimes a romantically attractive character who has led an unconventional life, but who harbors a tragic flaw. The hero's past separates him from accepted society and torments his present existence.
Although not usually considered a true Gothic novel, Jane Eyre has many elements of the genre. Although Bronte has made him more rounded, and imbued his actions with significantly higher moral significance than is traditional, Mr. Rochester might fit the type of the Gothic hero, and while Thornfield Hall is in reality a comfortable dwelling, it has Gothic characteristics in the presence of the hidden Bertha and Grace Poole. Some plot elements which might be considered Gothic, again from the enotes link below, include Bertha's vicious attacks, the dramatic interruption of Rochester's and Jane's wedding, Jane's flight across the countryside, her encounter with St. John, the destruction of Thornfield, and the mysterious inner communication by which Jane realizes that Rochester needs her.