For the months of June and July 2021, The Silver Petticoat Book Club pick (chosen by Amber and Autumn) was the classic Gothic Romance novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë!
The book tells the famous tale of the orphan Jane Eyre and her love story with the moody and Byronic Mr. Edward Rochester. Part Bildungsroman, part Romance novel, and part Gothic novel, Jane Eyre is a literary masterpiece full of mystery, suspense, tragedy, love, friendship, and redemption. It’s a must-read novel everyone should check out at least once!
More than 150 years after its publication, Jane Eyre continues to spark debate and controversy – which should lead to some great conversations!
Now that it is July, the time to discuss Jane Eyre is here. To make it simple, we’ve posted printable discussion questions for your personal use.
Use the questions below, provided by us, to inspire discussion about the novel with your friends and family (you can even start your own chapter of The Silver Petticoat Book Club!).
You can also join in on the discussion online on Facebook, Instagram, or Goodreads in the final week of July. Make sure to follow us on social media so you can read quotes from the novel, see what other readers have to say about the book, and for clues for the next book club selection (which we will announce on August 1st, 2021. UPDATE: September 1, 2021.)
We hoped you enjoyed reading Jane Eyre with us and will join in on the next Silver Petticoat book club pick – which will be a newer book this time around.
Without further ado, here are the Jane Eyre discussion questions.
JANE EYRE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (WARNING – SPOILERS!)
A list of discussion questions for "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte. Amber and Autumn Topping from The Silver Petticoat Book Club wrote the questions.
Click the print button and keep a copy of the discussion questions. You can choose to print or save it as a PDF to your computer. These discussion questions are for personal use only to discuss with your friends and family. If you use them, please credit The Silver Petticoat Book Club.
"Jane Eyre" Discussion Questions:
- Did you enjoy “Jane Eyre?” Was this your first time reading the gothic classic? Or have you read it before?
- If you reread the novel, did you take something new from it? What did you notice or take away from it that you didn’t before?
- What was your favorite part of the book? Your least favorite?
- Do you have any favorite quotes, chapters, or passages? Share!
- Why do you believe Charlotte Brontë chose the title “Jane Eyre?” for her novel?
- Initially, Charlotte Brontë published the book under the pseudonym Currer Bell. Why do you think she made this choice? Do you think it was to broaden her audience with a masculine name in a time when women weren’t treated as equals? Or do you think it was to ensure her privacy? Or perhaps a bit of both?
- “Jane Eyre” combines elements of the Romantic Novel and the Gothic novel, and over time it has become one of the greatest and most famous love stories ever written. How did Brontë combine elements of the two types of novels? What are the Gothic elements in the story? And what were the Romantic elements? Did you enjoy the combination?
- What elements of Romanticism did you see in the book?
- “Jane Eyre” was a revolutionary novel when Charlotte Brontë wrote it presenting female individuality, feminism, and even equality between the sexes. It also provided a discussion on classism and hypocrisy within religion. What examples do you see in the novel that supports these ideas?
- What other universal themes stood out to you in the book?
- “Jane Eyre” reads like a fictional autobiography with an older Jane telling the story. Did you like Charlotte Brontë’s use of the first-person narrative? Did it make you feel more connected to Jane as a character?
- “Jane Eyre” has elements of fairy tales in the book, most notably, Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. In what ways, characters, or scenes, can you see the parallels? People have argued that “Jane Eyre” is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast? Do you agree or disagree?
- How does the first chapter set the tone for the novel? Did it make you want to keep reading?
- Did the abuse young Jane endured as a child endear her to you more? Make you more empathetic to her as a character?
- What did you think of the first section of the book at Gateshead and then Lowood School? Lowood School was based on the very real school Cowan Bridge School in Lancashire, where Charlotte and her sisters attended. Unfortunately, two of her sisters died there. In her biography by Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte admitted that the character of Helen Burns was based on her sister Maria Brontë. Knowing this, how does this make you feel toward Helen and the school? Or even the cruel Mr. Brocklehurst?
- What did you think of the first encounter between Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester?
- Did you enjoy the long, deep discussions between Jane and Rochester?
- What was the purpose of the Blanche Ingram character? Do you think Mr. Rochester only brought her to Thornfield to play games and make Jane jealous?
- When do you think Jane fell in love with Mr. Rochester, and when do you believe he fell in love with her?
- Did you enjoy the proposal scene between Rochester and Jane? How did Jane’s impassioned speech make you feel? And what do you think the lightning or tree symbolized?
- How did the romance between Jane and Edward compare to the romance between St. John and Rosamond?
- Overall, what was your favorite romantic moment in the book?
- What role do the Reeds play in the novel? Do you think Jane should forgive Mrs. Reed and her children?
- How did you feel about Jane becoming an heiress? Did you enjoy the section of the novel with St. John and his sisters? Were you happy to discover Jane finally found a family who loved her?
- How did you feel about St. John’s proposal? How do St. John and Rochester compare? Do you think Jane made the right choice in turning St. John down? Why do you think she did?
- There is a touch of the supernatural in the story. What did you think of the moment when Rochester called for Jane from across a considerable distance, and she heard him? Did you find it romantic that their souls were so connected?
- Who were your favorite characters in the novel? Your least favorites?
- Did you like Jane as a protagonist? Did you find her relatable and likable? What role does Jane’s belief in God play and with her as a character and her individuality?
- Why do you believe Charlotte Brontë felt readers misunderstood Jane as a character? That Jane is not a perfect saint. What flaws does she want you to see in Jane?
- How did you read Mr. Rochester as a character? Do you think he was “ugly” or more rugged? Did you find him too gruff? Or did you enjoy his flirtatious moodiness? Often, different readers interpret Mr. Rochester very differently. So, how did he read to you?
- Edward Rochester is a Byronic Hero rather than a Romantic Hero. What traits or scenes make this clear?
- How does Jane evolve as a character throughout the novel?
- How did Edward evolve? Did you find he was worthy of redemption in the end?
- Were you surprised by any plot points in the book? If you haven’t read the book before, or seen any movie adaptations, were you surprised by the Bertha reveal? What were you expecting to be the secret instead?
- Do you agree with Jane’s choice to leave Rochester when she finds out about Bertha? Or would you have made a different decision?
- What comparisons can you see between Bertha Mason and Jane Eyre? Do you believe Bertha was mad due to genetics? Or do you think she went insane due to the ill-treatment from her family and then later Mr. Rochester? Could Jane have had this same fate?
- How did you feel about the ending between Mr. Rochester and Jane? Were you happy they ended up together? How did Mr. Rochester need to change before they could be together?
- Have you watched any of the numerous “Jane Eyre” adaptations? What is your favorite version, and why? Who was your favorite Jane? Your favorite Mr. Rochester?
- Why do you think “Jane Eyre” continues to be so popular today?
- Would you recommend this book to others? Would you read more Charlotte Brontë novels?
Use the discussion question to discuss with your friends and family (perhaps even starting your own chapter of The Silver Petticoat Book Club!)
You’ll be able to download the questions, add some of your own, and turn the book club into the “entertaining” and “social” experience it’s meant to be!
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Did you read Jane Eyre with us? Feel free to discuss any of the questions in the comments below! What future classic book club picks would you like us to consider for a future choice? We would love to hear your thoughts.