Discussion Questions Jane Eyre CHs 26 – 32

Dustjacket illustration of Jane Eyre by Lauren Gentry, depicting the doubling of Jane and Bertha. Bertha appears here as the "manifestation of the anger and frustration felt by Jane under the oppression of the male characters."

Dustjacket illustration of Jane Eyre by Lauren Gentry, depicting the doubling of Jane and Bertha. Bertha appears here as the “manifestation of the anger and frustration felt by Jane under the oppression of the male characters.”

1. “In the deep shade, at the further end of the room, a figure ran backwards and forwards. What it was, whether beast or human being, one could not, at first sight, tell: it groveled, seemingly on all fours; it snatched and growled like some strange wild animal: but it was covered with clothing; and a quantity of dark, grizzled hair, wild as a mane, hid its head and face” (CH 26 438).

What did you think when you read this description of Bertha? Knowing that this this Rochester’s wife and that Rochester keeps Bertha locked away in the attic, how does Bertha relate to Jane’s fear of marrying Rochester?

2. “In-doors we agreed equally well. They were both more accomplished and better read than I was: but with eagerness I followed in the path of knowledge they had trodden before me” (CH 30 525).

How does Jane feel equal with Diana and Mary in this chapter? How does this sense of belonging that Jane expresses differ from how she felt when she still lived at Thornfield?

Group 4 AG

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This entry was posted in Barrier, Character Analysis, Charlotte Bronte, Gender, Jane Eyre, metaphor, Mood, Point of Ritual Death. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Discussion Questions Jane Eyre CHs 26 – 32

  1. Samantha F. says:

    This description makes Bertha sound barely human. Jane never wanted to be isolated in one place, and it’s obvious that Bertha has been at Thornfield with Grace for a very long time. This proves that he would expect Jane to stay with him and be confined in one place forever.

    Jane feels equal to them because of the great knowledge they have and how they are also leaving to be governesses. Jane felt like she actually belonged with him, like they could be her family, and she didn’t feel that way with everyone at Thornfield because she was never 100% confident.

  2. Heidi R. says:

    1. After reading the quote I think of Bertha as some ugly demented looking demon you would see on a exorcism movie. Since, Bertha is still technically his wife, she relates to Jane’s fear of marrying him because Bertha has to stick with him to the very end, he didn’t leave her in Jamacia he took her with him and left her locked inside the attic. As Jane collects herself to what she has seen, she might think too that Rochester will want to make her stay living in this place with him forever.

    2. She felt an equal with these women. She felt more comfortable because of their hospitality and treated her as an equal. They gave her books to read and gave her leisure time to draw paintings. They differ from Thornfield because these women could relate to her. There wasn’t anyone at Thornfield she could go and talk to that was a woman, except Mrs. Fairfax, but she was a more elder woman.

  3. Megan B says:

    2. Jane feels equal to Mary and Diana because the three of them are governesses and are in the same social class. In Thornfield, Jane had no one should could really talk to or anyone who was equal to her. Jane is happy to finally find a sense of belonging, in the Rivers household, among people that don’t pay her or people she isn’t romantically involved…like at Thornfield.

  4. Elida S. says:

    When I read this quote it made me imagine Mrs. Mason like a wolf or an abnormal creature with a lot of hair, moving around on her 2 arms and 2 legs, and red eyes like the devil. This scene is a very big example of Gothic romance and when Mr. Rochester finally reveals his big secret he had been keeping from Jane. I think Jane feels that Mr. Rochester’s plan was to end up controlling her as he was trying to change her with all the gifts and jewels and maybe even put her away as his mistress. Mr. Rochester’s secret being exposed of his marriage with Bertha who is apparently part beast and human, I feel symbolizes the marriage of Jane and Mr. Rochester which was set up to fail at the end. Even though Mr. Rochester states if Jane would have gotten sick and mad like Bertha he would have taken care of her and not had her locked away, but is it not a full commitment when getting married, for better or worse and in sickness and in health until death do us part.

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