You are Jane. Write a letter to Bessie describing your new job as governess and your new employer, Mr. Rochester.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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This is an interesting assignment, and can be used not only to show knowledge of crucial chapters in Jane Eyre but also of the period as a whole.

First, you need to invent a fictional occasion for writing – perhaps an object Jane thinks she might have left behind while packing – because there is nothing in the text that would suggest such a letter likely, nor is there a suggestion that Jane had regular correspondence with Bessie.

Next, think about what sort of details would be included. Would Jane reveal the complex emotions the narrator tells us about in a letter to Bessie or would she simply recount the basic events and situation, e.g. that Adele, her pupil, is a young French girl, the size of the household, etc. For Rochester, the size of his fortune, his appearance, and a small amount of biographical information might be appropriate.

You might also want to look at letter-writing manuals of the period such as the Ladies Complete Letter Writer to get a sense of the appropriate generic conventions.


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