Questions for Jane Eyre Study Guide

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Analyze the quote "Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion." (vii) In light of what critics of the time had to say about Jane Eyre, what is the thrust of Brontë's response?

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What are your impressions of John Reed? What do you make of the abuse that Jane suffers? Is it realistic?

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Jane Eyre, living a very confined life, has little experience of men. Decribe two to the following males and contrast them to each other; Mr. John Reed, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Brocklehurst, mr. Rochester, St. John Rivers.

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Notice the parallels between life at Lowood in the spring and Jane's new lifestyle. How is this "pathetic fallacy" a form of foreshadowing?

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Pay attention to the lush descriptions of Miss Temple in chapter 8 and spring at Lowood in chapter 9. How would descriptions like these affect readers in the mid 19th century? How do they affect readers of today?

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Jane Eyre was a watershed novel at the time it was written because it blended two styles of novels: the romantic novel and the gothic novel. According to Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language, romanticism emphasized content rather than form; encouraged "freedom of treatment," "introspection," and celebrated "nature, the common man, and freedom of the spirit." The same source defines the gothic novel as a type of fiction "characterized by picturesque settings; an atmosphere of mystery, gloom, and terror; supernatural or fantastic occurrences; and violent and macabre events." Where do you see both elements in the novel so far?

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What are your impressions of John Reed? What do you make of the abuse that Jane suffers? Is it realistic?

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Most readers of today are familiar with the signs of child abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect. While these terms were arguably unknown to Brontë in the mid 19th century, how does her treatment of Jane reflect what we know about them?

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