eNotes Lesson Plan
Introductory Lecture and Objectives
One of the most widely read novels of all time, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is the story of a passionate and seemingly impossible love set within a mysterious and forbidding Victorian atmosphere. It is a Gothic tale, replete with the mystery, suspense, and horror that define the genre, but it is also a novel that addresses social issues of the day. Through the narrative, Brontë raises questions about the limited education provided in church schools, the expectations and opportunities for women, the value of family connections, and the importance of romantic love when it conflicts with personal principles or the strict rules of Victorian society. Jane Eyre develops characters who seek their identities by challenging society’s status quo.
Set in nineteenth-century England, the novel begins with the story of young Jane, an orphan who lives with an aunt who dislikes her and does not show her any kindness or affection. When she is ten, Jane is sent to Lowood, a charity school; despite the cruelty of its headmaster, Jane develops physical, intellectual, and emotional strength. She leaves Lowood School to become a governess for Adèle, the ward of Edward Rochester of Thornfield Hall. Jane and Rochester fall in love despite the difference in their ages and social positions. Mystery surrounds Rochester, however; strange sounds and occurrences abound in his manor. Jane leaves Rochester after the revelation that he is married and his wife, who is insane, is being held captive in the attic at Thornfield. After much suffering, Jane becomes the mistress of a village school. She later discovers that she has living relatives and inherits a fortune, which enables her to return eventually to Rochester as an independent woman. At the conclusion of the novel, she tells the reader simply and directly, “I married him,” and that she and Rochester live together happily and “equally.”
The novel is a coming-of-age story that focuses on the experiences and emotions that accompany Jane’s development from child to adult. There are five distinct stages in Jane’s evolution, each of which is linked to a particular place: her childhood at Gateshead, her education at the Lowood School, her time as a governess at Thornfield Hall, her life at Marsh End when she is a teacher in Morton, and her reunion with Rochester at Ferndean. Jane’s life unfolds as a dramatic adventure within an atmosphere of psychological dread and constant threat of ruination typical of Gothic novels.
Charlotte Brontë incorporated into the narrative several elements from her own life. After Brontë’s mother died, an aunt assisted in caring for the Brontë sisters (Charlotte, Maria, Elizabeth, and Emily). The sisters were sent to Cowan Bridge, a school for clergymen’s children. The cruel and hypocritical fervor of the headmaster in Jane Eyre is based upon the evangelical minister who ran Cowan Bridge. Jane’s loss of her dearest friend at Lowood School to tuberculosis recalls the deaths of Brontë’s two sisters who died of tuberculosis at Cowan Bridge. Like Charlotte Brontë, Jane becomes a governess, which was often the only professional option for an educated woman at the time. The role of governess provided a good vantage point for Brontë to observe and write about the oppressive social practices of nineteenth-century Victorian society. Reflecting Brontë’s early feminist ideals, Jane is rebellious at a time when women were expected to be docile and obedient. Through Jane Eyre, Brontë challenges Victorian mores by suggesting a woman’s merits demand the same respect as a man’s;
moreover, she challenges the conventions of Victorian literature by creating a well-developed heroine with a rich inner life.
Even as Jane questions society’s conventions, gender expectations, religious practices, and the importance of love, the novel does not answer questions for the reader. Consistent with the individual’s quest for an independent identity, which is a central tenet of Romanticism, the reader is allowed to contemplate these issues, still relevant today.
By the end of the unit the student will be able to:
1. Identify characters and describe the plot of Jane Eyre. 2. Describe the central conflict. 3. Analyze the characters of Jane Eyre and Rochester. 4. Identify the primary themes and motifs.
5. Identify the various representations of romantic love and filial love presented in the novel, and explain how marriage is affected by social conventions.
6. Define and explain the social and economic roles available for women during the Victorian era. 7. Discuss how children are perceived in general in Victorian society and how they are treated
according to their social class, and identify the different modes of education available to them.
8. Explain how Brontë addresses religion and nature (both the natural world and an individual’s natural disposition).
9. Identify and discuss the novel’s Gothic elements and how they contribute to character and plot development.
10. Explain how Rochester exemplifies the Byronic hero in Romantic literature.
11. Understand what features make Jane Eyre an iconic novel of the British Romantic period.
Instructional Focus: Teaching With an eNotes Lesson Plan
This eNotes lesson plan is designed so that it may be used in numerous ways to accommodate ESL students and to differentiate instruction in the classroom.
Student Lesson Guide
• The Lesson Guide is organized for a chapter-by-chapter study of the novel. Lesson Guide pages may be assigned individually and completed at a student’s own pace.
• Lesson Guide pages may be used as pre-reading activities to preview for students the vocabulary words they will encounter in reading each chapter and to acquaint them generally with its content.
• Before Lesson Guide pages are assigned, questions may be selected from them to use as short quizzes to assess reading comprehension.
(The entire section is 572 words.)
Essay and Discussion Questions
1. Identify the various Gothic elements in the novel.
2. Why does Brontë structure Jane Eyre on five geographic locations? (Gateshead, Lowood, Thornfield, Marsh End, Ferndean.) How does the novel depict each residence?
3. Explain how each residence in the novel is associated with the development of Jane’s character. What lessons does Jane learn in each?
4. Describe the motifs of ice and fire. How are they included in the novel literally? How are they employed figuratively to describe personalities and physical settings? What are the connotations of ice and fire?
5. What are the conditions in Victorian England,...
(The entire section is 917 words.)
Bewick’s History of British Birds: a work by Thomas Bewick (1755-1828), a renowned naturalist and illustrator
chidings: rebukes, condemnations
desolate: abandoned, bare
diffidence: doubt, hesitation
fervently: busily, actively
impudence: audacity, gall, boldness
moreen: a strong woolen fabric frequently used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for making curtains and furniture
shrined: made holy, made sacred
sprightly: fun, vivacious
subjoined: attached, added
torpid: lazy, slow
vignettes: sketches, scenarios...
(The entire section is 686 words.)
abhor: regard with contempt, disgust
(the) Abigail: a female servant or attendant
acrid: bitter, sour to taste
artifice: a hoax; a clever act designed to deceive; false or insincere behavior
browbeaten: castigated, nagged
consecration: blessing, dedication
consternation: dismay, distress
divest: to dispossess, to take off
festoons: decorations, adornments
ignominy: deep personal humiliation and disgrace; disgraceful or dishonorable conduct, quality, or action
intelligible: understandable, clear
ire: anger, annoyance
irksome: annoying, aggravating
parley: conversation, negotiation
(The entire section is 668 words.)
apothecary: a pharmacist trained by apprenticeship
cadence: rhythm, beat
infer: to conclude, to presume
kindred: corresponding, matching
mortified: embarrassed, disgraced
propensities: natural inclinations, leanings
shilling: archaic British monetary unit
Guy Fawkes: An English Catholic rebel, Fawkes was part of a failed plot to blow up Westminster’s House of Lords. Since 1605, Guy Fawkes is celebrated each November with an effigy on a bonfire and fireworks in the U.K. Brontë is refering to a rebellious spirit that cannot be subdued.
typhus fever: A bacterial...
(The entire section is 866 words.)
capricious: given to sudden changes in behavior
chastisement: punishment, reprimand
dearth: insufficiency, scarcity
desist: to stop, to refrain from
execrations: curses, damnations
graven: engraved, carved
homily: a sermon, a lesson
judicious: wise, thoughtful
mandate: an official order issued by one in authority
nimbly: swiftly, rapidly
obliterating: eliminating, destroying
parterre: a level space in a garden
poltroon: a spiritless coward, a weakling
sequestered: isolated, secluded
tarried: delayed, dawdled
“A usurious rate of interest”: A usurer was...
(The entire section is 1111 words.)
Babel: Biblical the Tower of Babel, a tower intended to reach from the earth to heaven
benignant: benevolent, kind
foe: opponent, antagonist
inanition: lack of mental or spiritual vigor and enthusiasm; exhaustion caused by lack of nourishment
indefatigable: untiring, determined
mantle: a cloak
protracted: long, drawn out
redolent: suggestive; aromatic
regaled: amused, delighted
riband: a ribbon
trifling: insignificant, worthless
veneration: respect or awe inspired by the dignity, wisdom, dedication, or talent of a person
wrath: extreme anger, fury
(The entire section is 772 words.)
animadversions: adverse criticisms, censures
assiduity: diligence, effort
clamour (clamor): loud cry, commotion
commendations: praise, compliments
expostulations: objections, challenges, protests
gloaming: twilight, dusk
impalpable: unsubstantial, indistinct
rove: to wander, to drift
seraph: an angel, an attendant of God
therein: within, inside
truculent: belligerent, hateful
1. What happens to Helen Burns in class that raises Jane’s ire because of its injustice?
During a history class, the girls are stumbling with answers to Miss Scatcherd’s questions....
(The entire section is 420 words.)
Bethesda: a pool in Biblical Jerusalem believed to have healing powers
Brahma: the creator god in later Hinduism
chilblains: an inflammatory swelling to tissue in hands and feet as a result of exposure
effluence: stream, discharge, outpouring
excrescence: an unattractive or superfluous addition
Juggernaut: the Hindu deity Krishna; the Hindu temple car reputed to crush devotees in its path
moiety: one of two approximately equal parts; half
obviating: making unnecessary
penurious: stingy, cheap
perfidious: treacherous, deceitful
repast: a meal, food
stalwart: strong, valiant
(The entire section is 684 words.)
approbation: recognition, praise
Barmecide supper: a pretend meal at which no food is actually served; named after a prince in The Arabian Nights who served such a meal to a starving beggar
Cuyp-like groups: as in the landscapes of the Dutch painter Aelbert Cuyp (1620-1691)
eloquence: skillful way with words
fervid: passionate, ardent
imputation: allegation, insinuation
mien: a person’s look or manner
nectar and ambrosia: mythical food of the Gods; meant to bestow immortality
phylactery: an amulet, a talisman
prostrate: flat, horizontal
slattern: an untidy, slovenly woman
Solomon: the King of Israel in the tenth...
(The entire section is 491 words.)
alleviate: to relieve, to lessen
camphor: a tough, gummy, aromatic compound from the wood and bark of the camphor tree, used topically as a liniment and mild analgesic, as a plasticizer, and as an insect repellent
consumption: once a term for tuberculosis, a wasting disease of the lungs
pestilence: contagion, epidemic
pungent: highly flavored
resurgam: Latin “I will rise again”
smitten: enamored, infatuated
verdure: freshness, bloom
1. How is the theme of nature evident in this chapter? How is Jane affected by the arrival of spring?...
(The entire section is 512 words.)
brackish: somewhat salty (of water)
debarrassed: removed what impedes movement, such as a coat or hat
dissipated: used up, wasted
en règle: French “in proper form” or “order”
exultantly: with joy, pleasure
ferret: to find and bring to light by searching
imbibed: ingested, drank
scourge: a cause of wide or great affliction
sidling: moving stealthily with one side forward
soliloquised (soliloquized): talked to oneself
soporific: sleepy; sleep inducing
sublunary: earthly, material
thrice: three times; “once, twice, thrice”
zeal: enthusiasm, fervor
(The entire section is 933 words.)
beau-ideal: the perfect type
Bluebeard’s castle: a seventeenth-century Hungarian opera based on a French folktale (La Barbe Bleue) about a wife who explores locked rooms in her new husband’s castle, finds blood covering the rooms, and accuses him of having murdered his previous wives
Bohemian: a native or inhabitant of the former Kingdom of Bohemia, now part of the Czech Republic; socially unconventional, often engaged in the arts
“boots”: archaic a servant at an inn whose duty is to clean boots
cachinnation: loud, convulsive laughter; guffaws
canzonette: a short light vocal piece, derived from seventeenth-century Italian music...
(The entire section is 1147 words.)
absolved: freed from responsibility or duty
belfry: a bell tower
cant: dishonesty, hypocritical statement
Gytrash: a legendary black dog known in northern England, said to haunt lonely roads awaiting travelers
idolatrous: heathen, characterized by the worshipping of idols
pretercanine: unlike anything one would expect of a dog
raiment: attire, apparel
repined: complained, grumbled
solicitude: attentive care, protectiveness
staid: marked by settled sedateness, prim self-restraint
suffused: spread out, permeated
vapid: flat, dull
(The entire section is 686 words.)
assiduous: hard working
averred: maintained, proclaimed, indicated
caprice: a sudden, unaccountable change of feelings or behavior
choler: a ready disposition to irritation; anger
incessantly: steadily, ceaselessly
inditing: writing, composing
pinnacle: the highest point of development or achievement
piquant: flavorful, biting
propitious: full of promise, favorable
quiescence: repose, rest
thence: for that reason, therefore
1. Describe how Thornfield changes after Rochester’s arrival. How does Jane feel about the changes...
(The entire section is 963 words.)
bane: a cause of great distress; a source of harm or ruin
bonny: attractive, pretty
eminence: importance, fame
expiating: making amends for
“fallen seraph”: an allusion to Satan
gregarious: friendly, affable
hector: to bully, to nag
interlocutrice: a woman who takes part in a conversation
intrinsic: basic, inborn Medes and Persians: members of an Indo-European people in the seventh and sixth centuries BC credited with creating unalterable laws
nonnette: French little nun
palliate: to soothe, to relieve, to ease
pervious: accessible, approachable
(The entire section is 1116 words.)
anathema: something hated
Apollo Belvidere: a famous statue of the Greek god Apollo, an ideal male form
Beulah: in the Bible and in Pilgrim’s Progress, a place of delight
etiolated: weakened, deprived of natural vigor, made feeble
ewer: a large jug with a wide mouth, used for carrying water for someone to wash in
habergeon: a sleeveless coat of mail shorter than a tunic
heath of Forres: where the three witches gather to meet Shakespeare’s Macbeth
leviathan: Biblical a giant sea monster; a formidable obstacle (in context)
paroxysm: a seizure, a spasm
shuttlecock: the birdie in the game of badminton...
(The entire section is 1370 words.)
confabulation: conversation, dialogue
extrication: deliverance, liberation
ignis fatuus: Latin foolish fire; a phosphorescent light sometimes seen at night over marshy ground; something deceptive or deluding
indelibly: permanently marked; in an unforgettable manner
plebeian: common person
surfeited: overfilled, overindulged
1. From the servants’ conversations Jane overhears, how has Rochester explained the fire in his chamber to his household?
He apparently told them he fell asleep with a candle burning in his room and doused the flames with water from his pitcher....
(The entire section is 626 words.)
appanage: an endowment, a privilege
con spirito: Italian with spirit, vigor
contumacy: defiance of authority, contempt
Corsairs: privateers working for the King of France attacking the ships of France’s enemies
Dian (Diana): Greek mythology the goddess of fertility and the moon
exonerated: excused, cleared of all blame or responsibility
extirpate: to uproot
fillip: archaic reference to small change in currency
herald: an omen, a messenger
lachrymose: weepy, tearful
sanctum: sanctuary, temple
saturnine: sullen, gloomy aspect
sundered: separated, torn apart...
(The entire section is 1391 words.)
acrimony: bitterness, ill feeling
Bridewell: a prison for “vagrant women” and girls in the sixteenth century; by the nineteenth century, a generic term for an English prison
contumelious: insolent, scornful
Eliezer and Rebecca: Biblical Eliezer was a servant tasked with finding a suitable wife for Isaac, Abraham’s son; a clever test proved that Rebecca was kind and loving, and he chose her to be Isaac’s wife.
hackneyed: clichéd, lacking significance through having been overused
halcyon: calm, peaceful
highwayman: a man, typically on horseback, who held up travelers at gunpoint in order to rob them
Levantine: person from Eastern...
(The entire section is 1108 words.)
ad infinitum: Latin never ending, perpetually
blackaviced: having a dark complexion
diablerie: black magic, sorcery
lassitude: lethargy, apathy
sibyl: a prophet, a clairvoyant
superlatively: exceedingly, exceptionally
1. What is Jane’s demeanor with the gypsy? What does Jane say that the gypsy finds “impudent” but unsurprising?
Jane is calm and composed; she is not intimidated by the foreign-looking stranger. She says the gypsy may tell her fortune if she wants to; Jane then adds that she has no faith in fortune-telling.
Note: Jane calls the gypsy woman...
(The entire section is 716 words.)
(the) Andes: the longest continental mountain range in the world located along the western coast of South America
Carthage: a city in Northern Africa; the site of many battles in the history of ancient Greece and Rome
charlatan: a swindler, a fraud
culpable: deserving of condemnation or blame for a wrong or harmful action
eyrie: the lofty nest of a bird of prey
inertness: powerlessness to move; sluggishness
inextricable: incapable of being disentangled or untied
protracted: long, continued
rent: torn, split
spue (spew): to gush, to pour out
twain: half, two
1. Describe the...
(The entire section is 816 words.)
apoplectic: overcome with anger; extremely indignant
ascetic: stern, austere, Spartan
deglutition: the act or process of swallowing
despotic: dictatorial, oppressive
indolence: sloth, laziness
livid: extremely angry
pecuniary: of or relating to money
peremptory: authoritative, insisting on immediate obedience
presentiment: anticipation, expectation
tempestuously: without restraint; violently; in a stormy manner
1. What is Jane dreaming of each night at the beginning of the chapter? What does Jane believe the dreams portend?...
(The entire section is 1099 words.)
acumen: discernment, keenness and depth of perception and understanding
aperture: an opening or open space; a hole, a breach, a chasm
cynosure: one that serves to direct or guide
philter: a magical potion
1. What do Georgiana and Eliza plan to do after Mrs. Reed dies? What becomes of them?
Georgiana plans to travel to London to stay with her uncle and his family. Eliza plans to travel to the Continent to live and study in a Catholic convent in France and “probably take the veil.” Jane tells the reader that Georgiana eventually married “a wealthy, worn-out man of fashion,” and Eliza is the mother superior at...
(The entire section is 547 words.)
Albion: England was often referred to as Albion in ancient times
automaton: a machine without emotions or feelings
Channel: an arm of the Atlantic that separates southern England and France, often extremely rough and windy
facile: easily mastered
hither: to this place, toward
vehemence: intensity, fierceness
whence: from what or which place
whit: a very tiny bit
1. How is the physical setting reflective of Jane’s love for Rochester?
Everything is beautiful and alive. The skies are “pure” and the sun is “radiant.” The fields surrounding Thornfield...
(The entire section is 636 words.)
colloquy: conversation, debate
consorting: being friendly and familiar with
coquetry: flirtation, dalliance
Danae: Greek mythology a princess who was imprisoned in an underground chamber by her father
enmity: hatred, animosity
entreated: pleaded with
gossamer: a gauzy, thin material
houri forms: in Islamic tradition, the forms of women in paradise
King Ahasuerus: Biblical the King of Persia who banished his wife Vashti and made the Jewish girl Esther his queen; Esther succeeded in persuading the King to spare the Jews
nettled: provoked, upset
pinion: to bind fast, to restrain or...
(The entire section is 1061 words.)
inclement: bitter, nasty (weather)
indissolubly: permanently, bindingly
lurid: shocking, gruesome
portmanteau: a large leather suitcase that opens into two hinged compartments
puerile: childish, immature
1. Where has Rochester gone and when does Jane expect him back? What kind of night is it?
Rochester has left Thornfield to attend to business on a small estate thirty miles away. Jane expects his return at any moment, even checking that the fire is lit for him because it is a “gloomy evening” with a very strong wind.
2. Why does Jane leave the house?
She leaves the...
(The entire section is 599 words.)
Creole: a person of European descent born in the West Indies
embruted (imbruted): degraded to the level of a brute; made bestial
Funchal: the capital of Madeira
resolute: determined, strong willed
surplice: a loose white linen vestment varying from hip-length to calf-length
1. At Jane and Rochester’s wedding, two men appear at the church. Who are they? Why do they interrupt the wedding ceremony?
Mr. Briggs, a solicitor from London, and Mr. Mason come to the church to stop the wedding because Rochester is already married. Briggs declares that Rochester’s wife, Bertha Mason, is still...
(The entire section is 924 words.)
inanition: emptiness, void; lack of mental or spiritual vigor and enthusiasm
pygmy: something very small of its kind
solecism: an error or blunder that is in breach of good manners
syncope: the physiological action of fainting
upas-tree: a poisonous tree of tropical Asia and Africa
will-o’-the-wisp: atmospheric ghost lights seen by travelers at night, especially over bogs, swamps, marshes; said to draw travelers from a safe path
1. How do Jane and Rochester respond to each other when they meet the day after the truth was revealed about Bertha Mason?
Rochester had expected...
(The entire section is 1056 words.)
acceded: agreed, consented
allude: to suggest or call attention to indirectly
benign: kindly, amiable
bombazeen (bombazine): a twilled fabric, formerly worn dyed black for mourning
chimera: an unrealizable dream, a fantasy
countenance: appearance, usually of the face
filial: of, relating to, or befitting a son or daughter
fortnight: two weeks
hamlet: a small village
lexicon: a dictionary
omnipresence: at all places at all times
repulse: to reject
stupor: daze, unconsciousness
woe: suffering, anguish
1. How does Jane leave Thornfield? What does she bring...
(The entire section is 752 words.)
bemired: muddy, dirty
delineation: a drawing or painting
injudiciously: unwisely, without due consideration
remuneration: payment, reimbursement
satiety: fullness, at or beyond gratification
threaped: argued, quarreled
1. How does St. John Rivers assess Jane’s situation?
He says that Jane is “some young lady who has had a misunderstanding with her friends, and has probably injudiciously left them.”
2. What does Jane state about the prejudices people practice? What prompts her to consider the nature of prejudice?
Jane observes that prejudice is a result of...
(The entire section is 541 words.)
consecration: dedication to a sacred purpose
coruscating: beaming, radiating
Elysium: Greek mythology the paradise where heroes made immortal by the gods are sent after death
expostulate: to reason with earnestly in order to convince
turbid: cloudy, obscure
1. Describe Jane’s friendship with Mary and Diana Rivers.
Jane has met kindred spirits in Mary and Diana. It is the first time in her life when she feels entirely equal and matched in interests and perspective with anyone else: “Thought fitted thought; opinion met opinion: we coincided, in short, perfectly.”
(The entire section is 849 words.)
commodious: ample, spacious
galling: markedly irritating
scions: descendants of a notable family
vacillating: alternating or wavering between decisions
1. How is the theme of social class distinctions evident in Jane at her new school?
Jane feels disheartened at first by her new position because the pupils are poor local villagers, which is reminiscent of the upper classes’ view of the working class and the poor. She writes, “I felt degraded. I doubted I had taken a step which sank instead of raising me in the scale of social existence. I was weakly dismayed at the ignorance, the...
(The entire section is 590 words.)
affable: friendly, approachable
cui bono: Latin “To whose benefit?”
deistic: godlike, perfect
inundation: a deluge, a flood
lusus naturae: Latin freak of nature
pagan: heathen, agnostic
sullied: soiled, stained
1. How does Jane feel about her job at the village school after a while?
Jane enjoys teaching at the school. Despite her initial misgivings about the ignorance and poverty of the pupils, she discovers many of the children are bright. She makes much progress with them, and their parents are generous and friendly. She enjoys spending her...
(The entire section is 691 words.)
allaying: diminishing or relieving something, such as pain, fear, worry, etc.
Cheviot’s mountains: a range of rolling hills straddling the English-Scottish border
indigence: poverty, destitution
Marmion: nineteenth-century epic poem, popularly successful but critically panned because of its depiction of a flawed hero
Medusa: Greek mythology a monster who could turn those who directly looked at her into stone
solicitude: worry, anxiety
vestige: a sign, a indication
1. What does St. John tell Jane one snowy evening at her cottage?
St. John informs Jane that he knows what...
(The entire section is 739 words.)
bauerinnen: German countrywomen
bulwark: a fortification, a support
coadjutor: an assistant or associate
ebullition: a sudden happening
eschew: to have nothing to do with
garrulous: talkative, babbling
hicrophant: an official expounder of sacred mysteries or religious ceremonies, especially in ancient Greece
neophyte: a beginner, an amateur
oblation: something offered in worship or devotion
paysannes: French people who work the land, farmers
Rock of Ages: an eighteenth-century Christian hymn; in context, an allusion to God
tenaciously: with determination
(The entire section is 1133 words.)
boon: a benefit, a favor
conciliate: to placate, to appease, to pacify
propitiate: to satisfy, to soothe
venerated: revered, admired, esteemed
1. Why is St. John being mean to Jane?
St. John alienates Jane and lets her know that she is not in favor with him because she refuses to marry him. He upbraids her for her concern for Rochester because she is not focusing on useful endeavors, sincerely fearing she will consequently go to hell. Jane tells him she will travel to India with him but will not be his wife because it would kill her. She believes that to have yielded to Rochester would have been “an error of...
(The entire section is 725 words.)
cumbrous: awkward, bulky
Paul and Silas: two missionaries said to have prayed to God repeatedly while in prison until God released them
scourging: beating, punishing
“tideless sea of the south”: the Mediterranean Sea
timorous: timid, meek, afraid
1. As Jane prepares for her trip to Thornfield, she receives a note from St. John. Describe how Jane’s reaction to the note shows that she is going to see Rochester for the same reasons she once left him.
St. John’s note admonishes Jane to consider her spirit over her flesh. Jane believes that her spirit “is willing to do what is right; and my flesh, I hope,...
(The entire section is 934 words.)
cicatrised: blemished, flawed
Nebuchadnessar (Nebuchadnezzar): king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (605-562 BC) who con-quered Judah and Jerusalem and sent the Jews into exile; also credited with creating the Hanging Gardens of Babylon
sylvan: forest-like, rustic
Vulcan: Roman mythology god of fire, son of Jupiter and Juno (king and queen of the gods); deformed and ugly, but extremely strong
“. . . if Saul could have had his David”: Saul was the first king of the Kingdom of Israel (1079-1007 BC). When an evil spirit troubles Saul, David plays the harp and sings songs in order to soothe him....
(The entire section is 516 words.)
Chapter 38 (Conclusion)
Apollyon: a hideous monster defeated by a hero in John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, published in two parts in 1674 and 1678
caste: social class
creed: beliefs, principles
oculist: an eye doctor
1. Why is the first line of this chapter significant? How much time has elapsed since the previous chapter?
Jane opens the last chapter of the novel, which occurs ten years after her reunion with Rochester, with the words “Reader, I married him.” By stating it thus, she is again drawing the reader into an intimate sharing of her story, and she is indicating that she was able and willing to make the choice to...
(The entire section is 941 words.)
Multiple-Choice Test and Answer Key
1. What traumatic event for Jane is the catalyst for her being sent to the Lowood School?
A. She is locked in the red-room.
B. She is locked in the blue-room.
C. She is locked in her bedroom.
D. She is locked outside.
E. She is locked up in the barn.
2. Who is kind to Jane at Gateshead?
A. John Reed
D. Miss Temple
E. Mrs. Fairfax
3. Which of these is NOT a theme or motif in Jane Eyre?
A. gender roles
(The entire section is 1118 words.)
Essay Exam Questions With Answers
1. What does Jane learn about herself and religion from Brocklehurst, Helen Burns, and her cousins St. John and Eliza? Support your discussion with examples from the novel.
When Brontë wrote Jane Eyre, Victorian society advocated God as sovereign, as well as the idea that humans are fundamentally depraved sinners and faith is the key to salvation. Jane rejects this view of religion, as represented in the novel through the characters of Brocklehurst, Helen Burns, St. John, and Eliza. Instead, she has a view of religion that is a mixture of Christian and pagan ideals. For Jane, God is evident in Nature and is compassionate, bounteous, and merciful. Christianity of the day appears to her to lack reason in lieu of...
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