Jane Eyre Teaching Guide
- 9 pages
- Subject: Allusion, Character Analysis, Historical Context, Plot, Themes, Vocabulary, Lesson Plans and Educational Resources
- Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12
Additional Jane Eyre Resources
So you’re going to teach Jane Eyre. Whether it’s your first or hundredth time, this classic text has been a mainstay of English classrooms for generations. While it has its problematic spots and difficulties, teaching Jane Eyre to your class will be a worthwhile and rewarding enterprise for both you and your students. It will give them unique insight into valuable rhetorical, literary concepts, such as point-of-view and narration, along with character analysis and development. Students can also engage with worthwhile themes such as gender dynamics and social class dynamics. Let’s look at several things to keep in mind before you begin.
About This Document
Owl Eyes teaching guides have been designed to help first-time and veteran teachers open up classic works of literature for their students. Our guides provide rich background information, identify key themes and topics, and offer creative and practical approaches to teaching the text.
The main components of each guide include the following:
- A concise history of the text
- An explanation of significant allusions
- Teaching approaches and discussion questions
- Tricky issues to address while teaching
- Alternative teaching approaches
- A list of complementary texts
These teaching guides offer valuable context and promote meaningful discussions about novels, plays, poems, and stories that have captivated English Language Arts students for generations. Each guide is comprehensive and concise, thought-provoking and practical.
Approaches and Discussion Questions Excerpt
Jane as an Empowered Woman: Jane Eyre is an influential text in the history of feminist literary criticism and is regarded as a key proto-feminist text, meaning it forwards feminist themes written before the coining of this specific term and movement in the 20th century. Gender equality is a central theme of Jane Eyre, the power dynamics between Jane and Rochester crucial factors in the development of their romance. While the Victorian period was male-dominated, and rigorous in its practice of strictly demarcated gender roles, it was also a period in which British women gained serious headway in questioning their subordinated status.
- For discussion: As a cultural artifact, Jane Eyre is a testament to this movement. Discuss the significance of Jane as a proto-feminist heroine looking for independence in a patriarchal society. Suggested chapters: XII, XIII, XIV, XXIII.
- For discussion: Do you think Jane achieves genuine equality in her relationship with Rochester in the end? Is Jane confirming Victorian expectations of women by marrying him, or is she rebelling against these expectations by following her own heart and marrying a man seen as “unfit” for her?
- For discussion: Birds are a key motif throughout the text and a symbol to which Jane is frequently compared. What is the significance of this motif with particular regard to the theme of women’s independence?