How far would you agree that Mrs Reed is a changed character by the end of the novel?
To what extent does Jane seek and achieve complete independence?
How does Rochester change throughout the novel?
How does the characterisation of Bertha reflect key contextual factors surrounding 'Jane Eyre'?
In the Literature exam, you may be asked to write about how a particular character is presented in an extract from 'Jane Eyre'.
You will also need to know the novel well enough to write about how a character is presented in the novel as a whole.
To achieve the highest marks in your exam response, you will need to offer a personal and perceptive interpretation.
This means that you need to:
- ask questions of the characters
- think about all of the different ways we might view them - positive and negative
- think about whether they change throughout the play
- try to evaluate how far we can say they possess a particular characteristic
Remember that you will also need to show a close analysis of the writer's techniques in presenting a particular character and relate your ideas to the key contextual factors surrounding the novel.
In this activity, we will practise evaluating characters in this way and will consider their presentation in different parts of the novel.
You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples. These quotations are for reference only.