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Jane Eyre Discussion Questions

Instructor: Angela Janovsky

Angela has taught middle and high school English, Business English and Speech for nine years. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology and has earned her teaching license.

Novel units require discussions to aide in student comprehension and critical thinking. Here you will find discussion questions to use in a classroom studying the novel Jane Eyre.

Charlotte Brontë

The Brontë sisters wrote a number of popular novels in the 19th century, but Charlotte's Jane Eyre could arguably be called the most controversial. This gothic novel, written in 1847, challenged many social norms of the day. Since Charlotte used a male pseudonym, many believed for years that only a man could create such a contentious story.

Due to this, students will need guidance when working through a unit of study on this novel. Use these discussion questions to direct conversation and help students analyze this Victorian novel.

Questions on Characters

  • Analyze Rochester's character. How does he manipulate Jane? Consider his relationship with Blanche Ingram. How does he treat the women in his life? Is he a moral man? Does your opinion of him change throughout the story? Explain.
  • Compare and contrast the female characters in the novel. Georgiana, Eliza, Helen, Blanche, Mary, Diana and Rosamund are all around the same age as Jane. Which characters are alike? Which ones are different? Are there any foils to Jane? Explain.
  • Examine other male characters in the novel besides Rochester. What shows their moral worth? Do they treat women differently than they treat men? What sort of relationship is seen between men and women in the story?
  • Analyze Jane's character. How does her time at Lowood shape her personality? What characteristics or traits describe Jane? Which of her actions or words support your ideas? How would you describe her moral code? How does the plainness of her appearance play a role in her life? Is she similar to other female heroines portrayed in 19th century literature?
  • Describe St. John Rivers. What sort of man is he? How does he compare to Rochester? What are their similarities? What are their differences? How does Jane view each man?

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