Cover image of Jane Eyre Allusion Activity

Jane Eyre Allusion Activity

by eNotes

  • Release Date: February 21, 2020
  • Subjects: Language Arts and Literature
  • Age Levels: Grade 10, Grade 11, Grade 12, and Grade 9
  • Pages: 8
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Document Details


This activity gives students an opportunity to practice identifying and analyzing allusions. Allusions broaden the scope of a text and imbue passages with deeper meaning by subtly drawing on unexplained references to literature, history, science, geography, philosophy, mythology, or other aspects of a culture. Allusions are thus a powerful tool often employed by writers and are well worth understanding. In completing this activity, students will be able to identify, analyze, and interpret allusions, thereby accessing deeper meanings within the text.

When Charlotte Brontë published Jane Eyre in 1847, it was her first completed novel. It has since become known as a classic coming-of-age story and a landmark in the art of fiction. The novel follows Jane Eyre from childhood into maturity as she develops her moral compass and sense of self. At the story’s start, she is an orphan marooned in an abusive foster home; by the end, she is navigating the shoals of courtship. The novel is renowned for the richness of its first-person narration, which filters and processes the world through Jane’s lively mind. One of the cornerstones of Jane’s narrative voice is allusion, which she uses to make meaning out of her experiences.

Skills: analysis, close reading, drawing inferences from text, interpreting implications of allusions

Learning Objectives:
In completing this activity, students will

  • identify different types of allusions and locate examples of allusion within a text;
  • analyze examples of allusions to determine their purpose in the context of a passage of text;
  • analyze examples of allusions to interpret their meaning and determine how they inform a passage of text.


Our eNotes Classroom Activities give students opportunities to practice developing a variety of skills. Whether analyzing literary devices or interpreting connotative language, students will work directly with the text. The main components of our classroom activities include the following:

  • A handout defining the literary elements under discussion, complete with examples
  • A step-by-step guide to activity procedure
  • An answer key or selected examples for reference, depending on the activity

In completing these classroom activities, students will be able to classify and analyze different literary elements, thereby developing close-reading skills and drawing deeper inferences from the text.

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