Jane Eyre is like an old friend. I always enjoy revisiting a favorite! Jane Eyre’s status as a classic in literature is well deserved. This story has stood the test of time for a reason. Every time I read Jane Eyre I am entranced by the beauty of the language and the unique characters. The story is haunting, interesting and a part of our cultures group subconscious. Mr. Rochester and Jane’s love story is referenced constantly in media and even other literature. Even though much of the story is moved forward by what many people would term the supernatural and macabre, the strength of Jane’s character and even the way she tells these “other worldly” stories makes them completely realistic, believable, and necessary without sounding sentimental, fictitious or shallow. To anyone who has never read it. Do yourself a favor and take some time to do it!
Amazon offers Jane Eyre for free on Kindle here. Or pick it up at any library, it’s such a classic it will be there.
Questions to prompt discussion at book club:
Discussing this book once with a friend, they stated, “It’s just another version of a Cinderella fairy tale.” Do others agree with that statement? What in the story suggests that idea? What in the story would suggest otherwise?
How does Rochester change throughout the novel?
Does Jane change throughout the novel?
How does Bronte create empathy and connection for the reader to Jane?
How do the characters surroundings affect the plot of the story?
These are pretty basic discussion ideas, and I’ve often found I don’t need too many questions to get people talking, but if you need more question ideas, visit LitLovers for a huge list of questions.
Other Fun Ideas for a Jane Eyre Book Club Meeting
Maybe I am weird, but I always love making connections between a book and what was going on in the rest of the world when it was being written and published, or what the author would have been exposed to. It makes me “feel” the book more. Music is one of the first things I want to find out about, and I think playing music in the background from the time period of Jane Eyre would make great ambiance.
When I started looking up composers of the time period I was a little surprised. I was familiar with many of them, but for some they seemed more modern than I envisioned Charlotte Bronte. Funny how that happens sometimes. Charlotte Bronte lived during the Romantic era of music.
On to some music ideas. Franz Lizst was a popular and prolific composer of the time period. A few that I think would be great companions for Jane Eyre are Love Dream (Liebestraum), Etude from Paganini (La Campanella), and Transcendental Etude No.9 (La Ricordanza). Beethoven was also writing and performing during the time period. So many of his works would be suitable. Pick your favorite.
My family often jokes that no get together is complete without food. Book club is no exception! Cobbler was a popular dish in England in the 1800s. If you are serving a dinner, the classic English Fish and Chips was popular not long after Jane Eyre was published. Custard Tarts, Fruit Puddings and Apple Pie were all commonly served foods as well.
If you have time you can always enjoy watching one of the many movie adaptations of Jane Eyre.