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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Marriage

In Jane Eyre, marriage is about a combination of three things: compatibility, passion, and ethics. A marriage only works between like-minded individuals with similar attitudes and outlooks on life....

Education

In Jane Eyre, education provides the only route for someone who isn’t independently wealthy to improve their character and prospects – it allows social mobility. The "education" we̵...

Appearances

Appearances are almost always inversely related to the actual nature of the characters in Jane Eyre. Beautiful women turn out to be scheming harpies or selfish idiots; plain women turn out to have...

Society and Class

Jane Eyre (the novel, not the character) looks down its nose in disgust at the existing Victorian class hierarchy. The characters who are most interested in the trappings of wealth and status are h...

The Supernatural

There are very few things in Jane Eyre that are actually supernatural, but the supernatural is still a major theme in this novel. How can that be? Over and over, events that seem eerie, uncanny, Go...

Morality and Ethics

In the strictest sense, Jane Eyre is all about morality – in fact, it’s close to being didactic (it's as if Brontë was trying to teach her readers about ethics). Characters seem to...

Foreignness and ‘The Other’

Foreignness and ‘The Other’ are complex themes in Jane Eyre. The novel depends heavily on the relationship between England, at the center, and a variety of other places and groups: colo...

The Home

In one sense, Jane Eyre is about the quest of an orphan girl for a home. In this novel, home isn’t just where you hang your hat – it has to be somewhere that you not only feel comfortab...
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