Chapters I – III
1. Discuss how Jane’s passionate nature is established.
2. Characterize Mrs. Reed, John Reed, Eliza, and Georgiana.
3. Explain first-person narrative, and why it might be beneficial to the story.
4. Discuss one, or more, of the themes that Brontë has established so far.
5. Explore the symbols that Brontë uses to enhance the story.
Chapters IV – VI
1. Contrast the attitudes and behavior of Miss Temple and Miss Scatcherd.
2. Compare Jane’s treatment at Gateshead Hall and at the Lowood School.
3. Discuss examples of Jane’s passionate nature.
4. Explain how Brontë uses Helen Burns as a symbol of Christian goodness.
5. Describe a typical day at Lowood School.
Chapters VII – X
1. Characterize Mr. Brocklehurst; include a physical description.
2. Describe the deathbed scene between Helen Burns and Jane. Explain Helen’s philosophy.
3. Discuss Jane’s behavior after Miss Temple reveals that she is not a liar.
4. Discuss Jane’s need for a change after spending eight years at Lowood.
Chapters XI – XV
1. Compare the environment at Thornfield Hall to the Lowood School.
2. Examine how Jane has come to the rescue of Mr. Rochester.
3. Explain how the mysterious laugh...
(The entire section is 601 words.)
1. Discuss Jane as a narrator and as a character. What sort of voice does she have? How does she represent her own actions? Does she seem to be a trustworthy storyteller, or does Brontë require us to read between the lines of her narrative? In light of the fact that people who treat Jane cruelly (John Reed, Mrs. Reed, Mr. Brocklehurst) all seem to come to unhappy endings, what role does Jane play as the novel’s moral center?
2. In what ways might Jane Eyre be considered a feminist novel? What points does the novel make about the treatment and position of women in Victorian society? With particular attention to the book’s treatment of marriage, is there any way in which it might be considered anti-feminist?
3. What role does Jane’s ambiguous social position play in determining the conflict of her story? What larger points, if any, does the novel make about social class? Does the book criticize or reinforce existing Victorian social prejudices? Consider the treatment of Jane as a governess, but also of the other servants in the book, along with Jane’s attitude toward her impoverished students at Morton.
4. Compare and contrast some of the characters who serve as foils throughout Jane Eyre: Blanche to Jane, St. John to Rochester, and, perhaps, Bertha to Jane. Also think about the points of comparison between the Reed and Rivers families. How do these contrasts aid the development of the book’s themes?
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