Suggested Essay Topics
Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 601
Chapters I – III
1. Discuss how Jane’s passionate nature is established.
2. Characterize Mrs. Reed, John Reed, Eliza, and Georgiana.
3. Explain first-person narrative, and why it might be beneficial to the story.
4. Discuss one, or more, of the themes that Brontë has established so far.
5. Explore the symbols that Brontë uses to enhance the story.
Chapters IV – VI
1. Contrast the attitudes and behavior of Miss Temple and Miss Scatcherd.
2. Compare Jane’s treatment at Gateshead Hall and at the Lowood School.
3. Discuss examples of Jane’s passionate nature.
4. Explain how Brontë uses Helen Burns as a symbol of Christian goodness.
5. Describe a typical day at Lowood School.
Chapters VII – X
1. Characterize Mr. Brocklehurst; include a physical description.
2. Describe the deathbed scene between Helen Burns and Jane. Explain Helen’s philosophy.
3. Discuss Jane’s behavior after Miss Temple reveals that she is not a liar.
4. Discuss Jane’s need for a change after spending eight years at Lowood.
Chapters XI – XV
1. Compare the environment at Thornfield Hall to the Lowood School.
2. Examine how Jane has come to the rescue of Mr. Rochester.
3. Explain how the mysterious laugh leads Jane and the reader to know that all is not what it seems at Thornfield Hall.
4. Discuss Jane and Mr. Rochester’s growing attraction.
5. Identify and discuss the symbols in Jane’s artwork.
Chapters XVI – XIX
1. Discuss how the mystery of Grace Poole is perpetuated.
2. Brontë has Jane give detailed descriptions of the physical appearance of the characters; compare and contrast the physical appearance of Jane with Blanche Ingram.
3. Discuss evidence of Rochester’s growing love for Jane.
4. Characterize Edward Rochester; include physical descriptions.
Chapters XX – XXII
1. Discuss how the mystery becomes more intriguing.
2. Explain the element of foreshadowing in Jane’s dream about the infant.
3. Analyze Rochester’s contradictory behavior; why is Jane confused?
4. Discuss Jane’s declaration of love for Rochester.
Chapters XXIII – XXV
1. Discuss how suspense is built in these three chapters.
2. Explain why Jane does not want to be lavished with expensive gifts.
3. Point out examples of symbolism; how do they fit into the story?
Chapters XXVI – XXVII
1. Analyze Rochester’s reasoning behind trying to marry Jane, when he is already married.
2. Describe how Jane’s reaction and choice regarding Mr. Rochester’s proposal are consistent with her character.
3. Discuss how Jane’s dreams are prophetic.
1. Describe Jane’s experience as a beggar, and discuss how Jane’s faith in God gives her the strength to survive.
2. Describe the characteristics of Diana, Mary, and St. John.
3. Analyze the symbolism of the light Jane follows to Moor House.
Chapters XXX – XXXI
1. Discuss why Jane believes the life of a teacher is better than that of a governess.
2. Characterize St. John Rivers.
3. Examine Jane’s camaraderie with Diana and Mary Rivers.
4. Discuss the job options for a woman in the Victorian Age.
5. Explain Jane’s new sense of achievement.
Chapters XXXII – XXXIII
1. Characterize Rosamond Oliver.
2. Discuss Jane’s new status and sense of accomplishment.
3. Explain Jane’s decision to share her inheritance.
4. Examine St. John’s ambition to be a minister.
Chapters XXXIV – XXXV
1. Compare St. John Rivers with Mr. Rochester.
2. Discuss Jane’s reasoning in rejecting St. John’s proposal.
3. Discuss St. John’s reasoning in rejecting Rosamond Oliver for a wife, and pursuing Jane.
Chapters XXXVI – XXXVIII
1. Discuss the attributes that make Jane and Rochester equals.
2. Examine some of the symbols contributing to the richness of the scene with Rochester and Jane reunited.
3. Examine the mystical experience both Jane and Rochester have.
4. Discuss the terms in which Jane marries Rochester.
5. Explain Jane’s/Brontë’s view of Christian love.