English literature

Trivia Quiz for “Jane Eyre”

Trivia Quiz for Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (1847)

For WSEA “Classic Novels (and Movies)” book club, 7/31/22

(With answers below)

1. Five Homes, Prisons, or Way Stations toward an Unknown Fate?  Jane lives at five places with evocative names during her young life. Which is not one of them?

  1. Thornfield                               b. Ferndean                 c. Moor House            d. Cheesewring               e. Gateshead              f. Lowood

2. Portraits of Bullying and Vengeance.  Jane encounters numerous instances of people acting badly, especially in their anger over what she does or does not do or say. Which of the following is not guilty of physically attacking, berating, bullying, insulting, or trying to coerce Jane Eyre?

a. John Reed                                                   b. Mrs. Reed                           c. Mr. Brocklehurst d. Miss Temple                                               e. Mr. Rochester                     f. Blanche Ingram

3. Portraits of Resistance. Amid the chaos of adults acting rashly, there are vignettes of younger people who resist attack in wise forbearance, including which one of the following?

a. Helen Burns                                    b. Adèle Varens         

c. Georgiana Reed                                         

d. Miss Scratcherd                                          e. Blanche Ingram

4. Fury, Rage, and Passion! Jane Eyre shocked readers in the 1840s for the detailed descriptions of people in the throes of hatred, desire, and vengeance. Which of the following is not from Jane Eyre?

a. “My heart beat thick, my head grew hot; …. I uttered a wild, involuntary cry; I rushed to the door and shook the lock in desperate effort.”

b. “He crossed the floor and seized my arm and grasped my waist. He seemed to devour me with his flaming glance… powerless as stubble exposed to the draught and glow of a furnace.”

c. “She sucked the blood: she said she’d drain my heart.”

d.  “I wonder what other bridegroom ever looked as he did—so bent up to a purpose, so grimly resolute: or who, under such steadfast brows, ever revealed such flaming and flashing eyes.”

e. All of the above are found in Jane Eyre.

5. Autobiographical style. With its retrospective first-person narrative, Brontë’s book provides readers with a feeling of listening to the heroine’s most secret and changeable thoughts. Which one of the following thoughts does not occur to the heroine?

a. “I still possessed my soul, and with it the certainty of ultimate safety.”

b. “We can’t behave like people in novels, though, can we?”

c. “Nobody knows how many rebellions besides political rebellions ferment in the masses of life which people earth. Women are supposed to be very calm generally, but women feel just as men feel.”

d. “My help had been needed and claimed; I had given it; I was pleased to have done something.”   

6. Self-talk. Alongside the occasional kind words from others, Jane tortures herself and tries to encourage herself, by her own internal monologue. Which of the following is not from Jane Eyre?

a. “You, a favorite of Mr. Rochester? Go! Your folly sickens me. … Poor stupid dupe!”

b. “The afternoon advanced, while I thus wandered about like a lost and starving dog.”

c. “In what darkness, what dense ignorance, was the mental battle fought! I could not answer the ceaseless inward question—why I thus suffered.”

d. “One Christmas was so much like another, in those years…”

7. Night fears. Which of the following scary moments is not from Jane Eyre?

a. “There was a demoniac laugh—low, suppressed, and deep—uttered, as it seemed, at the very keyhole of my chamber door.”

b. A maid screams: “There was no reflection of him in the mirror!”

c. “I started awake on hearing a vague murmur, peculiar and lugubrious, which sounded, I thought, just above me.”

d. “This door was open; a light shone out of the room within: I heard thence a snarling, snatching sound, almost like a dog quarreling.”

8. Money, Transactions, and Debt. Which of the following does not happen in Jane Eyre?

a. Mr. Rochester hires Jane as a governess, for 30 pounds a year.

b. Jane saves Mr. Rochester’s life during a fire, and tells him “There is no debt, benefit, burden, obligation, in the case.”

c. Jane inherits 20,000 pounds from a long-lost uncle.

d. Jane follows the advice of St John, and gives her fortune to Christian missionaries in India.

9.—10. Love and Forgiveness. Jane’s tolerance of Rochester’s foul temper, moodiness, and emotional outbursts is exemplary. What two (choose 2) reasons does she offer for it?

a.  “He made me feel what severe punishment a good yet stern, a conscientious yet implacable man can inflict on one who has offended him.”

b. “It must have been most irksome to find himself bound by a hard-wrung pledge to stand in the stead of a parent to a strange child he could not love. “

c. “Harsh caprice laid me under no obligation; on the contrary, a decent quiescence, under the freak of manner, gave me the advantage. … I felt interested to see how he would go on.”

d. “His changes of mood did not offend me, because I saw that I had nothing to do with their alternation; the ebb and flow depended on causes quite disconnected to me.”


1. d. Cheesewring is a location in Cornwall, England (encountered in Daphne Dumaurier’s Jamaica Inn)

2. d. Miss Temple

3. a. Helen Burns

4. e. All of the above are in Jane Eyre.

5. b. (That quote is from The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton.)

6. d. (That quote is from Dylan Thomas, A Child’s Christmas in Wales.)

7. b. (That quote is from Bram Stoker, Dracula.)

8. d. Jane does not follow the advice of St John; she keeps her own counsel.

9. c.

10. d.


Trivia Quiz for “Villette” by Charlotte Brontë

Trivia Quiz for Villette by Charlotte Brontë (1853)

For West Seattle “Classic Novels (and Movies)” book club, 1/17/21

A. Villette and satire

1. In the voice of her narrator Lucy Snowe, author Charlotte Brontë expresses an “English” opinion on Continental manners and beliefs. Which of the following are criticized in the novel?

a. Catholicism: the dogma and practices                   

b. French clothing styles        

c. The landscape of Belgium (Labassecour)  

d. The physique of Belgians  

e. all of the above

2. For the modern reader, some of the satire seems accidental. Consider the narrator’s claim that “M. Emmanuel was away three years. Reader, they were the three happiest years of my life.” What does she mean by that?

a. she finds happiness without a man            

b. she loves managing a business

c. solitude turns out to be bliss          

d. all of the above

B. The Character of Lucy Snowe

3. Which of the following portraits of the youthful narrator are not found in Villette?

a. “With my usual base habit of cowardice, I shrunk into my sloth, like a snail into its shell.”

b. “Joyful and full of hope, I looked to each day as an exciting adventure.”

c. “Loverless and inexpectant of love, I was as safe from spies in my heart-poverty, as the beggar from thieves”

d. “A keen relish for dramatic expression had revealed itself as part of my nature; to cherish and exercise this new-found faculty might gift me with a world of delight, but it would not do.”

4. True or False:  The narration includes long descriptions of the heroine’s uncertainties and anxieties, because she is supposed to be writing the words as the action transpires.

True  / False

C. The School

5. The school run by Madame Beck is described in ambiguous ways. Which of the following comments are not in Villette?

a. “It is true that madame had her own system for managing and regulating this mass of machinery; and a very pretty system it was.  … ‘Surveillance’ and ‘espionage’—these were her watchwords.”

b. “Here was a great houseful of healthy, lively girls, gaining knowledge by a marvelously easy method, without painful exertion or useless waste of spirits; not, perhaps, making very rapid progress in anything; taking it easy, but still always employed, and never oppressed.”

c. “Disappointment and Poverty awaited all those who remained unwed at age 17; they were cast out to an unknown fate and Madame Beck forbade mentioning their names ever after.”

d. “Not a soul in Madame Beck’s house, from the scullion to the directress herself, but was above being ashamed of a lie; they thought nothing of it.”

6. The relationship between Lucy Snowe and M. Paul Emmanuel strikes modern readers as offensive. Which of the following quotes does not describe him or his actions?

a. “He used to warn me not to study too much, lest ‘the blood should all go to my head’”

b. “He said that, of all the women he knew, I was the one who could make herself the most consummately unpleasant”

c. “his absolutism verged on tyranny”

d. He tells Lucy Snowe: “Limited are your powers, for in tending one idiot, you fell sick.”

D. Style: Classical allusions and flourishes

7. The style of Villette may appear old-fashioned to us because of the author’s reliance on maxims.  Which of the following maxims is not found in this book?

a. “To change the world, we women need first to change ourselves—and then we need to change the stories we tell about who we are.”

b. “There is nothing like taking all you do at a moderate estimate: it keeps mind and body tranquil; whereas grandiloquent notions are apt to hurry both into fever.”

c. “By whomsoever majesty is beheld for the first time, there will always be experienced a vague surprise bordering on disappointment.”

d. “To a feather-brained school girl, nothing is sacred.”

8. Gothic conventions also run through Villette, notably the sad nun who haunts the school and its grounds. What quotes do not describe the tragic ghost?

a.  the ghost was a mirror image of the heroine, “a soon-depressed, easily deranged temperament” that is, a figment of Lucy Snowe’s imagination.

b. “The legend went … that this was the portal of a vault … the bones of a girl whom a monkish conclave of the drear middle ages had here buried alive, for some sin against her vow.”

c. “M. le comte de Hamal was the nun of the attic”

E. Gender roles

9. Villette includes views on women’s behavior that may seem strange to modern readers. Which of the following is considered “dangerous” for a young, single woman?

a. gazing on paintings at an art museum

b. serving as untrained companion to a severely mentally disabled person, with no support


1. e.

2. d.

3. b.

4. False

5. c.

6. c.

7. a.

8. a.

9. a.