Essays About Jane Eyre: Top 5 Examples and Prompts

Writing essays about Jane Eyre? Take a look at our essay examples about Jane Eyre and be inspired by our additional prompts.

Jane Eyre is widely considered a classic novel that poignantly exposed the struggles of Victorian women through a story of love and emancipation. Jane Eyre is a Victorian novel written by Charlotte Brontë and published in 1847. Many aspects of the novel are said to derive from the personal story and experiences of the author herself. 

Brontë published this masterpiece with the gender-neutral pen-name Currer Bell to evade criticisms as the rebelliousness of Jane Eyre was defiant of the accepted social mores of its period. While it stirred controversy in its time, the heroine of the novel, with her grit to conquer adversities, break the rules and achieve her desires, offers many lessons that inspire many to this day. 

Read on and see our top essay examples and writing prompts to help with your essays about Jane Eyre.

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Top 5 Essay Examples

1. Jane Eyre And The Right To Pester by Olivia Ward Jackson

“Indeed, parallels can be drawn between Jane Eyre and those trapped in a professional hierarchy today. In rejecting an unwanted pass from a superior employee, far worse than damaging a fragile male ego, a woman could offset a chain of consequences which could threaten her entire career.”

The essay pays attention to the similarities between the class conflicts during Jane’s time and the hierarchies in the modern workplace. Finally, as feminists today argue over what practices and behavior would qualify as sexual misconduct, the essay turns the spotlight to Jane, with her determination to stand up against those who pester her, as a possible model.

2. Jane Eyre: Content Warnings Are As Old As The Novel Itself by Jo Waugh

“Why was the novel considered inappropriate for young girls, in particular? Many Victorians considered it “coarse and immoral”…The novel’s addictiveness might also have been an issue.”

The essay takes off from a university’s warnings against reading Jane Eyre and fellow Victorian novel Great Expectations, citing the “distressing” passages in the novels. The essay collates and presents the commentaries of people in shock with the warning. However, the piece also shows that such cautionary measures were not exactly new and, in fact, the first reaction when the book came to light.

3. The Tension Between Reason And Passion In Jane Eyre by Nicholas Johnson

“​​At the end of many trials Charlotte permits Jane to return at last to her lover…. They feel no passion or intrigue..  Instead of fire and ice, Charlotte gives us warm slush. Perhaps she never resolved the tension between reason and passion for herself, and so was unable to write convincingly about it.”

Johnson dives deep into how Brontë juxtaposed reason and passion in her novel’s imageries, metaphors, and even characters. In his conclusion, Johnson finds the resolution to the tension between passion and reason unsatisfactory, surmising that this weak ending conveys how Brontë never resolved this conflict in her own life.

4. Reading Jane Eyre: Can We Truly Understand Charlotte Brontë Or Her Heroine Today? by Sam Jordison

“It’s easy to think we are more sophisticated because we now know more about – say – the early history of Christianity. Or because Brontë is, of course, ignorant of modern feminist theory, or poststructuralism. We can bring readings to her work that she couldn’t begin to imagine. But she could easily turn the tables on us…”

The essays reflect on how one from modern society could fully comprehend Brontë through the protagonist of her masterpiece. Jordison emphasizes the seeming impossibility of this pursuit given Brontë’s complex genius and world. Yet, we may still bask in the joy of finding an intimate connection with the author 200 years after Jane Eyre’s publication. 

5. Christianity As A Form Of Empowerment in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre by Noam Barsheshat 

“Through her conflicts with various men―specifically, Mr. Brocklehurst, Mr. Rochester and St. John Rivers―Jane’s spiritual identity empowers her and supports her independence.”

This critical essay points out how Jane Eyre reconciled feminism and Christianity, highlighting the latter as a vehicle that empowered Jane’s transformation. Despite Jane’s determined spirit to find true love, she reflects her spiritual view of Christianity to prevent falling into an illegitimate love affair, preserving her well-being and self-empowerment. 

10 Best Prompts on Essays About Jane Eyre

Essays About Jane Eyre
The British Library, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

Check out our list of the best prompts that could get you started in your essay about Jane Eyre:

1. Summary and Personal Reflection

Provide a concise summary of the life of the young, orphaned Jane Eyre. First, cite the significant challenges that have enabled Jane’s transformation into a strong and independent woman. Next, provide a personal reflection on the story and how you identify with Jane Eyre. Then, explain which of her struggles and experiences you relate with or find most inspiring. 

2. Pervasive Imageries

From the chestnut and the red room to the ice and fire contrasts, investigate what these imageries signify. Then, elaborate on how these imageries impact Brontë’s storytelling and contribute to the desired effect for her writing style. 

3. Jane Eyre In The Perspective Of Feminism

Jane Eyre is highly regarded as one of the first feminist novels. It is a critical work that broadened Victorian women’s horizons by introducing the possibilities of emancipation. Write about how Brontë portrayed Jane Eyre as a feminist if you do not find that the novel advances feminist ideologies, write an argumentative essay and present the two sides of the coin. 

4. Best Jane Eyre Film Adaptations

It is estimated that over 16 film adaptations have been made of the book Jane Eyre. Watch at least one of these movie versions and write an analysis on how much it has preserved the book’s key elements and scenes. Then, also offer insights on how the movie adaptation could have improved production, cinematography, cast, and adherence to the book plot, among other factors. 

5. How Is Jane Eyre’s Life Story Similar To Brontë’s

Draw out the many parallels between the lives of Jane Eyre and her maker Charlotte Brontë. Suppose you’re interested in knowing more about Brontë to identify better and analyze their shared experiences and traits. In that case, The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell is highly recommended. 

6. What Are The Primary Themes In Jane Eyre

Some of the themes very apparent in the novel are gender discrimination and class conflict. First, point out how Brontë emphasizes these themes. Then, dive deep into other possible themes and cite scenes where you find them echoing the most. 

7. Describe The Characters

Describe the characters in the novel, from their roles to their traits and physical appearances. Cite their significant roles and contributions to Jane’s transformation. You may also add a personal touch by focusing on characters with whom you relate or identify with the most,

8. How Did Jane Eyre Find Her “True Home” 

While Jane grew up in Gateshead with the Reed family to whom she is related by blood, the despicable treatment she received in the place only motivated her to take on a journey to find her true home. First, map out Jane’s search for love and family. Then, explain how finding her “true home” empowered her. 

9. Jane Eyre As A Bildungsroman

A bildungsroman roman is a literary genre that focuses on a protagonist’s mental, spiritual, and moral maturation. Discuss the criteria of a bildungsroman novel and identify which parts of Jane Eyre fulfill these criteria.

You may also compare Jane Eyre against heroes of other bildungsroman novels like Pip in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. Lay down their similarities and key differences.

10. Jane Eyre And Economic Independence

In the latter part of the novel, Jane gains greater economic independence thanks to the substantial wealth she inherited. But before this discovery of inheritance, Jane had struggled with economic stability. So, first, tackle how finances affected Jane’s life decisions and how they empowered her to see herself as an equal to Rochester. Then, write about how women today perceive economic security as a source of self-empowerment. 

For help with your essays, check out our round-up of the best essay checkers

If you’re still stuck, check out our general resource of essay writing topics.

  • Yna Lim is a communications specialist currently focused on policy advocacy. In her eight years of writing, she has been exposed to a variety of topics, including cryptocurrency, web hosting, agriculture, marketing, intellectual property, data privacy and international trade. A former journalist in one of the top business papers in the Philippines, Yna is currently pursuing her master's degree in economics and business.

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