This final journal question has two parts. For the first part, you must write your response after you get to the part where Jane comes to the decision that she must return to Thornfield Hall. Do not attempt to write a response to the second half of the journal question until after you’ve completely finished reading Jane Eyre.
PART ONE: Predict what you think Jane will find when she returns to Thornfield Hall. Will Mr. Rochester despise her? Will he welcome Jane with open arms? Or will Bertha Mason be well/healed, running her household with Mr. Rochester at her side? Will Jane choose to live with Mr. Rochester, as his mistress?
PART TWO: Now that you’ve finished reading the novel, what surprised you about the ending? Do you find any irony in this conclusion? If so, how is it ironic? How is the actual ending different from your prediction? Are you happy with the ending? If not, how would you have ended the novel, had you been in Charlotte Bronte‘s shoes? If you liked the ending, explain what is satisfying for you.
Saint John Rivers is a unique character in Jane Eyre. Like Mr. Rochester, he demonstrates a somewhat romantic interest in Jane, but his motives are very different, stemming from his self-denial as a clergyman. He doesn’t have the wealth that Mr. Rochester brings to the picture, yet he shares his humble family home with Jane, as does Mr. Rochester.
The preceding paragraph compares and contrasts St. John Rivers with Mr. Rochester. Now it’s your turn to do something similar. Compare and contrast St. John Rivers with any of the following male characters from this book:
- Master John Reed
- Mr. Brocklehurst
- Mr. Mason
As you write your comparison, be sure to mention both characters’ role in Jane’s life. How are they associated with her? Are either of these characters concerned for Jane’s well-being? If so, how do they show their concern? What are their motives? What are their internal and external conflicts?
What is Jane Eyre’s internal conflict? What is her external conflict? Do you think these internal and external conflicts were common among women during the Victorian period? If so, why? How are these conflicts different from the conflicts women deal with today? What has changed since Bronte’s time, to alter women’s conflicts so much? In your answer, please reference specific events in history that changed the lifestyles of women: their goals, their self-image, their place in society, etc…
What aspects of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte define this novel as gothic in theme? What events have happened that give the setting a gothic atmosphere? How have Mr. Rochester‘s actions added a romantic element to the plot? Use a quote from the book, demonstrating subtle romantic undertones. Use another quote to demonstrate the author’s attempt to frighten her readers. Make sure your response to this journal question has a conclusion sentence, to wrap up your ideas.
What does the following quote from Jane Eyre tell us about education in Victorian times?
“‘Would you like to go to school?’ Again I reflected: I scarcely knew what school was; Bessie sometimes spoke of it as a place where young ladies sat in the stocks, wore backboards, and were expected to be exceedingly genteel and precise; John Reed hated his school and abused his master; but John Reed’s tastes were no rule for mine, and if Bessie’s accounts of school discipline (gathered from the young ladies of a family where she had lived before coming to Gateshead) were somewhat appalling, her details of certain accomplishments attained by these same young ladies were, I though equally attractive”(pg.22-23).