I have to complete a close textual analysis essay on the charades scene from Jane Eyre. Can you give me some examples regarding the best way to write an introduction for such an essay? I have been...

I have to complete a close textual analysis essay on the charades scene from Jane Eyre. Can you give me some examples regarding the best way to write an introduction for such an essay? I have been told to incorporate the themes of this scene in the introduction.

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bree1228 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The charade scene in Jane Eyre is quite meaningful, and can be analyzed in a few different ways.  There is, of course, a party of guests at Thornfield, and the group decides to play a game of charades.  Rochester even invites Jane to join the activity, but she declines.  Why does Jane decline to play charades? One reason is that she detests Blanche, and obviously does not think she is good marriage material for Mr. Rochester, whom she loves.  She notes that Blanche lacks most things Rochester values in a woman, and that she is also a snob.  As it is, Blanche can hardly deem herself so lowly as to brush her skirts next to Jane's dress.

The game of charades tells much more and reveals much more than would otherwise be stated in the normal narration of the novel.  This is because the game allows the characters to shroud themselves in figurative cloaks of disguise, thereby giving away more of the actual story line before it even happens.  True, not all is completely revealed during the game, and Jane becomes bored by their antics, but is a good use of foreshadowing for what is to play out in the following chapters.

During the game of charades, Rochester and Blanche act out the act of getting married in order for the other team to guess the first word of the phrase.  The answer from the other team is correct when they guess "bride." This is a hit to Jane's heart once again, as she does not want to see Rochester marry Blanche.  Jane is in love with Rochester, and completely dislikes Blanche.  Then, as the game continues, they attempt to have the other team guess the next part of the phrase, which turns out to be the word "well." Rochester and Blanche act out this part using biblical references of Rebeka giving Isaac a drink at the well of Nahor.  This part of the game proves much more difficult for the other team to guess, as the scene is more elaborate in its meaning.  Rochester goes to greater lengths trying to help the guests arrive at the word, as he acts out being trapped behind bars. Remember, they also get to use costuming, so Rochester is dressed as a prisoner.  Rochester is attempting to get the crowd to guess Bridewell, the entirety of the word, which is actually the name of a prison.  The other team successfully guesses the entire word of Bridewell.

Here lies the irony and foreshadowing. The marriage played out in the first word, bride, is a farcical enactment of a wedding. Blanche sees this as an amusing prelude to her marriage to Rochester. Jane views it with scorn. Rochester, in his acting out of Bridewell prison, is also a good example, because the cell or prison, represents his very own soul, his home (and secret in attic), and his complete inability to marry because of the hell of his own making, which is yet to be revealed through the upcoming visit from Mason. Bridewell and Thornfield perfectly mirror one another in the game of charades.

As for how to go about composing an introductory paragraph, while incorporating themes from the beginning of the novel, just go ahead and introduce the piece of writing, the author, and the thesis statement. Your thesis statement must contain what the instructor is asking you to explain about the theme, as well as tying that to the game of charades. How revealing is this game in reference to the entire novel? How does this scene give away more of Jane's feelings for Rochester, while showing the reader how shallow Blanche is capable of being? Is charades symbolic of the entire novel in the sense that so many secrets are revealed about character traits and flaws throughout the book just as in a game of charades?  Be careful to integrate your themes into these observations; then the importance of the game of charades becomes clearer. Your instructor has asked you to give careful analysis to the charades scene for a reason. It is much more than a simple parlor game. It encompasses the main themes and ideas in the novel about secrets, deceit, and the struggle to find out the answer or truth of what is going on in the attic, which brings the novel full circle.

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Jane Eyre

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