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Jane Eyre - Character
See if you can get full marks in this enjoyable quiz.

Jane Eyre - Character

This GCSE English Literature quiz will challenge you on character in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Jane Eyre is peopled with a great number of characters. Jane moves from place to place until she feels that she has found her true home, and each of these moves involves her getting to know new people. The reader meets her cruel, vindictive relatives, some of the children consigned to the unmerciful Mr Brocklehurst, the teachers of Lowood, the inhabitants of Thornfield Hall and its many visitors, and the Rivers siblings. Those characters who have a particularly strong impact on Jane’s development include Mrs Reed, Miss Temple, Mr Brocklehurst, Helen Burns, Mr Rochester and St John Rivers. Other characters might be pleasant companions for Jane, such as the Rivers sisters, or fulfil a function, such as Adèle, who provides both a reason for Jane to live at Thornfield and an insight into Mr Rochester’s character.

Jane Eyre is related through first person narration. The style of narration encourages the reader to see the world as Jane sees it. The injustices which she experiences become our own. We are invited to share her powerful emotions and can easily be swept along with the current of feeling. The reader understands characters through their actions, the speech, and through Jane’s perceptions of these. When Jane is about to submit to St John’s proposal, despite her strong reservations, the reader perceives St John’s words and actions through the prism of Jane’s inner turmoil.

When reading fiction, pay close attention to how each character interacts with others, as well as how they change over time. Jane Eyre covers a period of many years, from childhood until Jane is a grown woman and mother. How and when does she change? How does Rochester change? Can you identify the events or conversations which help characters to develop over time? Which of Jane’s characteristics remain constant?

Answer the questions below to see how well you understand the characters in Jane Eyre.

Upon first meeting Mr Rochester, Jane feels comfortable speaking to him because he is....
Not handsome
Not good-humoured
Frowning and rough
All of the above
Jane reports that she could not have spoken to the unknown Mr Rochester if he had been elegant, gallant or beautiful
Which of the following characterises Bertha Mason's attitude towards Mr Rochester?
Bertha Mason eventually sets fire to Thornfield, targeting especially Jane's former bed. She had already set fire to Rochester's bed on an earlier occasion
Who makes Jane feel at home in Thornfield, despite the grandness of the building and the cool, gruff behaviour of its owner?
Blanche Ingram
Mrs Fairfax
Mrs Fairfax surprises Jane with her kindness. Jane had expected to be treated coldly as a governess: "I anticipated only coldness and stiffness: this is not like what I have heard of the treatment of governesses; but I must not exult too soon"
What does Helen try to teach Jane?
The value of patience
The benefits of nursing anger
The importance of fighting injustices
All of the above
Jane learns patience from Helen although she does not always agree with her friend's views, especially with the idea of accepting injustice without complaint
Which of the following events demonstrates Miss Temple's compassion soon after Jane's arrival at Lowood School?
She worries that Jane has travelled alone at such a young age
She strokes Jane's cheek
She orders extra bread and cheese to compensate for the burnt porridge served to the children for breakfast
All of the above
Miss Temple attempts to soften the harsh regime at Lowood School, which is designed to subdue the "charity" girls both physically and psychologically
Which of the following adjectives does NOT describe Blanche Ingram?
Blanche speaks haughtily of governesses, whom she considers beneath her in status and intelligence, in the presence of Jane. Jane dislikes her while recognising that she is both beautiful and talented
"My uncle Reed is in heaven and can see all you do and think; and so can papa and mama: they know how you shut me up all day long, and how you wish me dead." What does this quotation tell the reader about Jane?
She is cruel
She is resentful towards all adults
She has a strong sense of justice
She is quiet and obedient
Jane is not afraid to speak the truth to authority figures and can see clearly the hypocrisy of adults such as her aunt
Which of the following does NOT express one of Mr Brocklehurst's beliefs about the appropriate way to educate and care for the children of Lowood School?
Physical punishment is good for the soul
Nature must be tamed
Children respond best to praise
Feeding good food to the body will starve the soul
Mr Brocklehurst does not apply the same standards to his own children, who are well cared-for and luxuriously dressed
Whose affections does Mr Rochester accept without much pleasure?
Bertha Mason's
Mr Rochester enjoys everyone's attentions and affections
Adèle is an affectionate child, but Mr Rochester cannot help viewing her as a miniature version of her mother, his exuberant French mistress
St John Rivers is an austere man. Which of the following lines of dialogue best depicts this aspect of his character?
"Reason, and not Feeling, is my guide: my ambition is unlimited; my desire to rise higher, to do more than others, insatiable. I honour endurance, perseverance, industry, talent; because these are the means by which men achieve great ends"
"I have only brought you a little parcel my sisters left for you"
"I burnt for the more active life of the world — for the more exciting toils of a literary career — for the destiny of an artist, author, orator; anything, rather than that of a priest"
"It is strange that I love Rosamond Oliver so wildly — with all the intensity, indeed, of a first passion"
St John describes himself to Jane as a "cold, hard man". He rejects his passions in favour of obeying reason
You can find more about this topic by visiting BBC Bitesize - Characters

Author:  Sheri Smith

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