1. Many critics claim that Jane Eyre created a new genre: the feminist fairytale (86), a genre that combines the Cinderella myth with a feminist tract, but romance novel scholar Pamela Regis argues that this is just a “backhanded naming of the romance novel, which can…include a feminist statement” (86). In what ways do you feel Jane Eyre reflects elements of a fairy tale, and in what ways is it a feminist statement? Are romance novels basically fairy tales anyway?
2. Compare the betrothal scenes in Jane Eyre and Rebecca:
Jane Eyre–Rochester: “My bride is here…because my equal is here…Jane, will you marry me?”
Rebecca–Max de Winter: “’Either you go to America with Mrs. Van Hopper or you come home to Manderley with me.’
Narrator: ‘Do you mean you want a secretary or something?’
Max de Winter: ‘No, I’m asking you to marry me, you little fool’” (52).
Neither of these betrothals come at the end of the story, and in Rebecca, it comes almost at the beginning. Given what you know about Rochester and Max when they proposed, what is your reaction to these betrothals? Do you see these men as romantic heroes? Explain your answer.