Composing a Jane Eyre Essay

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Most students are introduced to Jane Eyre in high school, and it is usually termed a Gothic novel because of the century in which it was written (19th) and because there are supernatural occurrences (although they are later explained). At this academic level, Jane Eyre essay topics are relative simplistic and relate to plot, characterizations, setting, style and tone. There may be some cursory exploration into the themes of this novel, but a truly in-depth look at the novel’s wide range of thematic statements does not usually occur until a college-level 19th century English Literature course is taken. In such a course Jane Eyre essays will delve far more into Victorian society and to social comments, as well as some rather significant statements on women, religion, and redemption.

Essays on Jane Eyre at the college level might include some of the following topics:

  • How are the moral codes of Victorian England portrayed in the novel?
  • Which characters typify Victorian England and which do not?
  • Which characters are truly Christian and which are merely Christians in name only

As to other historical features of the novel, Jane Eyre essay prompts might include the following:

  • Many literary critics state that Jane Eyre was an autobiographical novel. Write an essay on Jane Eyre agreeing or dis-agreeing on this opinion
  • Many view Jane as a Christian without a true doctrine. Write an essay about Jane Eyre that provides evidence to support this contention, comparing her religious beliefs and actions to those of “institutional” Victorian Christians in the novel
  • Write a Jane Eyre theme essay comparing the social comment of Bronte with that of Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist with respect to 19th century England.
  • Moral codes of the Victorian Era were strict and yet there appeared to be a rather hypocritical tendency to overlook transgressions of these codes by men. Write a Jane Eyre critical essay on how this hypocrisy is demonstrated in the novel.

There are so many themes in Jane Eyre that no one should have difficulty finding several of interest for Jane Eyre critical essays. Here are several options:

  • Discuss the portrayal of self-righteous “name only” Christians and the portrayal of those who “live” their Christianity by actions in a religion in Jane Eyre essay.
  • A great Jane Eyre essay thesis might relate to class discrimination in 19th century England and in America today.
  • In some ways, the novel is one of redemption. Write a critical essay Jane Eyre showing how redemption is achieved by both Jane and Mr. Rochester.
  • Many critical essays on Jane Eyre address the idea of feminism. In fact, Bronte is often described as one the early feminists. Show how this theme is portrayed in Jane’s words and actions. You Jane Eyre essay introduction might begin with a comparison of this protagonist to another more modern feminist protagonist.

Other essay topics for Jane Eyre might include:

  • A discussion of the nature of the patriarchal society that Bronte depicts and how she, through Jane, questions the value of this structure.
  • Which men and women in the novel are weak and which are strong? Does Bronte depict women as stronger?
  • Compare Jane Eyre with the fairy tale Cinderella
  • Discuss the importance of independence to women as proposed by Bronte in her character and as demanded by women today

There are so many possibilities for Jane Eyre essay questions and topics, and yet students sometimes struggle with them because of a distaste for the novel itself or because their creative and structural writing abilities are lacking. If you find yourself facing an essay on this or any other novel, is always ready to step in and help.