CSLJ Book Club Discussion of Jane Eyre – Day 3

It’s time for today’s discussion questions about Jane Eyre.

Jane Eyre is filled with fantastic events (Jane’s imprisonment in the Red Room, Jane and Mr. Rochester hearing each other from miles away) and many references to folklore, mythology and fairytales. Do you think this enhances the story? If so, how?

Do you think we should read any special significance or symbolism into these elements?

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment here on the blog or by heading over to our Facebook page and joining in the conversation there!

You can also see the rest of our Jane Eyre Book Club posts and weigh in on the other discussion questions here.

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13 Responses to CSLJ Book Club Discussion of Jane Eyre – Day 3

  1. I don’t know about any special symbolism folklore, mythology and fairytales. I think you could look at many stories and find similarities to fairy tales. I do however love the part where Jane hears Rochester’s voice. Even though I can be jaded about love, I still have a deeply hidden sappy side that thrilled at the scene 🙂

  2. The whole Jane hearing Mr. Rochester calling out to her never really bothered me. I know people who have experienced a sense of being needed or that someone was calling to them even though they couldn’t possibly have heard them physically.

    For me, I love the little touches of folklore and fairytales. I am fascinated with Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, and stuff like that (wouldn’t an analysis of Jane Eyre as a heroic journey would be really interesting?) and so anything that touches on this sort of thing always catches my attention.

    I recently shared a video from the British Library that discussed how Jane Eyre has elements of the Bluebeard story in it and I think that made me the whole mad woman in the attic thing even more interesting than it had been before.

    I also love how Mr. Rochester is always calling Jane an elf or a sprite or some sort of folklore creature. There’s a lot about the British tradition of elves and brownies that fit with how Rochester sees Jane. They are often described as plain, small, and mocking in their manner but if one attaches itself to your household, it is often a protective and faithful friend. But if you do something to offend a brownie or an elf or violate the rules about how to treat it, it will vanish, never to be seen again. And there is so much there that parallels Jane and Mr. Rochester’s relationship.

    But I also think there is a second layer to that. According to folklore, elves and sprites and brownies are not fully part of this world. They (and the mortals they pick up as consorts) are not confined to the rules and restrictions of this world and I think that fits very nicely into how Mr. Rochester views his marriage and his relationship with Jane.

  3. I find the scene of Jane being able to hear Rochester very romantic. I’ve had moments where I feel I’m willing my loved ones to hear me that I find it great that they did. I didn’t known all the folklore behind him calling her a sprite or a brownie but that is a very interesting touch.

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