This GCSE English Literature quiz is the first of two extract questions for Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. It takes place towards the end of Volume I, when Jane has become somewhat dissatisfied with the routine and quiet nature of her employment as a governess. Having left Lowood School in search of new experiences, a new location and new people to know, she finds that she is not as satisfied as she had hoped.
Before writing your answer to an extract question, make sure that you read the passage through more than once. Try to make this a habit because re-reading gives you the opportunity to notice different details and aspects of the passage.
The first time you read a passage you should try to gain a general understanding and consider how its details relate to the question you will be answering. On the second reading you can make detailed notes and annotations. Having carefully considered the passage you can then begin to plan exactly how you will use these details to answer the question.
Think about the reasons behind the choice of extract. How is it important to the text? What role does it play? Decide which themes are evident. Think about the characters which appear in the passage and how each individual’s experience might differ. What is the relationship between the passage and all that follows in the text? Is there any evidence of foreshadowing? How would you describe the passage’s relationship to earlier events? Is there a turning point? Consider the extract’s ending: what possible reasons can there be for the passage to end where it does? Is the final line significant?
Think carefully about the specific wording of the question you have chosen to answer. What specifically are you asked to discuss? Extract questions can focus on many different aspects, including mood and atmosphere, character, dialogue or theme. You could be asked to give a personal response to the passage or to a character. Begin by explaining the passage’s immediate context: show that you know which events precede the extract, drawing attention to their relevance. Be sure to refer to the detail of the passage, rather than keeping the discussion too general. Analyse the relationship between the passage and the text’s themes. It is useful to group related ideas together to give your answer some structure. Planning carefully will help ensure that you have enough time to discuss the entire passage.
Read the extract below carefully before answering the questions.