Discussion Questions for Jane Eyre CHs 16 – 20

1. In chapter 15, Mr. Rochester tells Jane the story of his dramatic past, and that he has a “wish to be a better man” (171). How does this story compare to Jane’s upbringing? How do these similarities reinforce the overarching themes of the book? Do you find it odd, romantic, out of place, natural that Mr. Rochester confides in Jane? He states that it is “strange I should choose you for the confidant of all this” but also that she was “made to be the recipient of secrets” (171). What is your reaction to this intimate conversation?

Fortune-teller with a candle (1830) by Orest Kiprensky (1782-1836)

Fortune-teller with a candle (1830) by Orest Kiprensky (1782-1836) Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

2. In Chapter 19, Jane encounters a gypsy in the library who turns out to be Mr. Rochester in disguise. Why do you think he dressed as a gypsy for the conversation with Jane? Jane states that she “knew that gypsies and fortune-tellers did not express themselves as this seeming old woman had expressed herself” (202) What is Jane’s reaction to Mr. Rochester’s disguise? What does this scene reveal about the dynamics of the relationship between the characters?

Group 2 TK

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1 Response to Discussion Questions for Jane Eyre CHs 16 – 20

  1. ES says:

    2. I feel like Mr. Rochester dressed like a gypsy to see what truth he could get out of Miss Ingram and Jane Eyre hoping his disguise would fool them which he was able to fool one. He accomplished to find out Miss Ingram is really interested in his purse as they say and Jane does not give away any of her feelings towards him directly. I also think that him dressing as a gypsy signifies that in reality he really isn’t whom Jane seems to think he is and that he is still hiding something from her and it also shows that he likes to play with people, including with Jane. At the end of Chapter 20, he brings up him marrying Miss Ingram which is pretty harsh because he has been leading on Jane this whole time. Jane is kind of set off that Mr Rochester would set up a prank on dressing like a gypsy but a little surprised on how he really made believed the other girls excluding herself. After Mr. Rochester reveals himself to Jane they talk about how she did not give into the gypsy act and she states that he talked a lot of “nonsense and to make me talk nonsense” was not the right thing to do. She does act a little offended because he was trying to make her talk and does say that she will try an forgive him for his wrongness. In this scene the gypsy is known to have magical powers in this case, Mr. Rochester has the power to see what Jane feels for him and how she looks at him, it is like a control he has over her making her feel these emotions for him.

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