Discussion Questions for Jane Eyre CHs 11-15

The New Governess, by Thomas Ballard, c. 1877. Private collection.

The New Governess, by Thomas Ballard, c. 1877

1. Does Jane enjoy being a governess? Or did she use the occupation as a means to gain more freedom? Is there another reason she likes teaching? Is she willing to stay now that she knows Mrs. Fairfax is “a placid-tempered, kind-natured women” (pg. 109) instead of another Mrs. Reed?

2. What is it about Mr. Rochester that attracts Jane when she plainly states that she doesn’t find him handsome when he asks her, “Do you find me handsome?” (pg. 132)? How does Jane’s view that “beauty is of little consequence” (pg 132) affect Mr. Rochester? What is it about their personalities that attract them to each other as well as the readers?

3. How has their relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester change when he told her that she “did not strike delight to my very inmost  heart for nothing” (pg. 152)? How will Jane do Mr.Rochester some “good in some way” (pg 152)? What is it that he’s hoping she will give him?

Group 1 TD

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4 Responses to Discussion Questions for Jane Eyre CHs 11-15

  1. HR says:

    1. I believe Jane does like to be a governess under the circumstances she is in. She does enjoy the company of Mrs.Fairfax and teaching Adele. The main reason she stays with these people are the way they treat her, so kind and warm than no one else has in a while.

    2. The way Mr. Rochester is, and the way he responds to her as an equal almost. Mr. Rochester was maybe surprised by her answer since he would think the opposite. They both have very confident personalities and intellectual to what they agree or disagree with.

    3. Jane thought less of herself when he said that and felt she has no real chance with him. Jane will do him some good by fixing his flaws, if he opens his heart to her. He’s hoping she will give him a change of heart, he saw the good in her. The kind, and care she has that he sees through her eyes for him.

  2. ES says:

    1. I feel Jane does enjoy being a governess but does use it as a form to leave Lowood and obtain freedom. I also feel like Jane enjoy’s having Adele as her pupil, especially after she finds out they both are orphans, making her feel more driven to teach Adele. When she arrives at Thornfield Hall she does not expect to be treated so nicely and welcomed by Mrs. Fairfax and learns she is a kind lady not giving her any reasons to want to leave yet. Jane finds it really considerate of Mrs. Fairfax settling her in the room next door to her (Mrs. Fairfax) even though it is smaller but less scary. This is exactly the opposite of what Ms. Reed would of done because she would lock Jane up in the Red room which was supposably haunted.

    2. Jane is attracted to Mr. Rochester by his eyes and smile the night he asks her if he is handsome. I feel he gets offended when Jane makes that remark and he gets really offensive towards her but Jane feels Mr. Rochester is kind of drunk. I find it kind of funny that Mr. Rochester brings up that Jane is not prettier than him and basically they are on the same level to that extent. Mr. Rochester and Jane carry on a relationship where the kind of know how to push each other buttons without trying because even though Jane is 18 the responses she gives Mr. Rochester are quite direct and mature, I feel Mr. Rochester does not expect those responses to come out of her mouth. They later on learn more about each other and Jane feels really weird but in a good way that he takes his time to get to know her because not many masters would make that kind of effort.

    3. I feel like after Mr. Rochester’s quote opens the doors to them first raveling a little emotion of what Jane and him feel for each other, this is kind of an intimate moment how he is relieved that she saved his life and all. Mr. Rochester feels he can express himself with Jane and he kind feels young again when they have their conversations and the spark between is going to help him get out of his usually gloomy self. I feel like he is hoping she will feel the same way towards him as he feels for her as there first real intimate emotions come about.

  3. JG says:

    In response Question 1: I believe Jane enjoys being a governess but she doesn’t enjoy being so far from city which she desires to explore.

    Jane indicates that Adele is a happy child, is making progress in her lessons, and is eager to please. They share a mutual attachment and Jane finds pleasure in that. Mrs. Fairfax has also welcomed her company. I think Jane finds herself in a favorable position as this the first instance in which she has lived where she was wanted and appreciated. However, Jane has a restless mind and the thought of remaining at Thornfield for an extended period bores her. As she has lived her life in all of 3 locations thus far she wishes to explore and experience life in the city. We can see Jane’s willingness to spend time out of the house when she volunteered to go into town to send a letter for Mrs. Fairfax.

  4. MS says:

    After being given a walk through of Jane’s life up until this point in the novel, although demonstrating signs of a strong yearning for freedom and a life full of more equality, she can still be seen as compliant, obedient and humble. For a woman like Jane, becoming a governess was one of the few occupational options she had that seemed to be fit for her. Irony comes through in the idea that a traditional governess (in Victorian times) wasn’t necessarily a servant but below the master in the same way she wasn’t a servant as a child but was still below Mrs. Reed (her “master”). In other words she knowingly walked into a lifestyle and societal status that resembled the one she was raised in rather than seeking an occupation that could actually be used to gain the freedom she continuously shows a desire for. The reason she decides to stay in this environment is because unlike her childhood she is being treated with a type of kindness she’s never experienced. It is almost as though she is attempting to re-live the childhood she had but in a way where she can make it into something that isn’t negative.

    It’s important to keep in mind how long it had been since Jane had been entirely direct and straightforward with her replies to people; by saying how she truly felt she was immediately regretful until she realized Mr. Rochester appreciated her honesty. For this to happen was strange but exciting for Jane because at that point she acquired the freedom she hadn’t been able to find, the freedom to speak her mind without consequences. What attracts Mr. Rochester is Jane’s ability to listen to him as well as her ideals of proper treatment over money (opposite of what she’d wanted as a child when she’d stated she’d rather live in abuse then poor). By allowing Jane to open up, Mr. Rochester allows us to slowly see the brazen side of Jane that was slowly getting more masked in her seemingly undying obedience; it is because of this that we gain an appreciation for Mr. Rochester and begin loving the dynamic between the two.

    There is an evident change in tone after the fire, as well as a change in mood. There had been a flowering relationship between Mr. Rochester and Jane however it is at this scene in particular that something changes. Mr. Rochester is now more passionate in his tone and his newly understood emotional attachment to Jane leads him to saying how he knew she’d do him “good in some way” (page 152). Although it feels as though the scene represents some sort’ve insight into the way he feels towards her, he continues to hold back the things he’s thinking or needing to vent that might aid in our understanding of him and his life.

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