30-15-10AntigoneAP English LiteratureArtBatter my heartBeowulfBill MoyersCarl SandburgEnglish II – Pre-APFictionFilmFooling with WordsFrankensteinGazer's SpiritGraphic OrganizersHigh School EnglishIronyJane EyreKing ArthurKurt VonnegutLangston HughesLiterary AnalysisMacbethMark TwainMetaphysicalMonkey HouseMoviesMultiple ChoiceMurder in the CatherdalNovelsOld radio programsOrson WellsPoetryPoisonwood BibleQuietRay BradburyReading Record CardsSatireShort StorySilent FilmsSummer APSIsSuperheroSymbolsThe TempestTone
Macbeth TCU 2013
The Tempest TCU 2013
The Gazer’s Spirit TCU 2013
Satire TCU 2013
Welcome to the Monkey House TCU 2013
Post apocalyptic TCU 2013
Poetry Pairs Triples Quads TCU 2013
Prose MC Camp TCU 2013
MC for Pre-AP TCU 2013
Jane Eyre and Antigone TCU 2013
Introduction to the essay Pre-AP TCU 2013
Poetry MC Camp TCU 2013
Frankenstein TCU 2013
Batter my heart TCU 2013
If I draw it TCU 2013Link to Graphic Organizers
TCU APSI 2014
Fooling with Words with Bill Moyers
The Trouble with Poetry
AP Literature MC Test
Batter my heart TCU 2014
Fooling with Words
Frankenstein TCU 2014
If I draw it TCU 2014 Link to Graphic Organizers
Poetry Pairs Triples Quads TCU 2014
Quiet TCU 2014
Short Stories Online TCU 2014
The Digital Classroom TCU 2014
The Gazer’s Spirit TCU 2014
The Tempest TCU 2014
Welcome to the Monkey House TCU 2014
Additional “Quiet” Materials
Quiet Quiz to begin workshop
Quotes about introversion
Outrageously Successful Introverts PowerPoint
Educational Psychology 20 Things about how Students Learn
Quotes about Quiet (Link)
Chart-Easy to use Classroom Assessment Techniques
Teacher’s Guide to Quiet (Questions and Activities for each chapter. Assumes students are reading the book; however, there are
many classroom activities that can be utilized without students ever reading the book).
Free Test Based on Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myer’s Typology Test
BRN01 AP Literature MC Test Brown 2105
BRN02 Poe – Brown – TCU APSI 2015
BRN03 Fooling with Words Brown TCU 2015
BRN04 Quiet 2015 TCU – Brown
BRN06 Beowulf to Marvel TCU Brown 2015
BRN07 Batter my heart TCU Brown 2015
BRN08 The Gazers Spirit Visual Art and Poetry – Brown TCU 2015
BRN09 The Crowd TCU 2015 Brown
BRN10 Grapes of Wrath – Brown TCU 2015
BRN11 If I draw it TCU 2015 Brown
BRN12 Tartuffe Earnest Soprano TCU Brown 2015
BRN13 Digital Teacher TCU 2015 Brown
BRN14 Satire TCU Brown 2015
BRN15 Twain and Vonnegut – Brown 2015 TCU
Beowulf to Batman (article)
Adventures of Beowulf
adaptation from Old English by David Breeden
Ann Savage’s Hypertext of Beowulf
Benjamin Slade’s Beowulf site
Signet Classic Guide to Beowulf (13 pages)
Beowulf (the graphic novel)
Annotated Beowulf (Harvard Classics – Frances B. Grummere)
Electronic Beowulf (digitized original manuscript)
Beowulf Resources (Excellent site)
Beowulf for Beginners (link is also on the Beowulf Resources site)
excerpt from 1936 British Academy lecture
Tolkien – The Monsters and the Critics complete article
Slaying Monsters – The New Yorker
Review from the New Yorker of Tolkien’s Translation of Beowulf
Beowulf: An Online Introduction (construction an alphabet from the original manuscript)
Beowulf in 100 Tweets (link) (if this disappears, let me know)
Beowulf (Spark Notes)
26:41 animated version of Beowulf (let me know if this disappears)
Beowulf: A Summary in English Prose
The Crystal Cave – Mary Stewart – The Best Notes
The Camulod Chronicles – Jack Whyte
Celtic Twilight – Online Arthurian Sources
Arthurian and Grail Poetry (another link from the site above)
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table – History, Legend and Everything in between
The Camelot Project – University of Rochester
King Arthur and the Matter of Britain
Old Radio Programs
Orson Wells – The Shadow
The Center for Cartoon Studies
Online Comic Creator
Graphic Novel Lesson Plan
Comics in the Classroom 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Teachers
Superhero Cartoon Database
Comics and Superheroes
Article Comic Books Change Students Views
Article A Study of comic book superheros
Article Archie and the Unexpected Virtue of Forgetfulness – Entertainment – The Atlantic
Why Write about Superheros (link to article)
100 Free Silent Films
Free Movies Online
Filmsite Excellent source Detailed plot synopses, review commentary, film analysis, film scenes, film quotes
Five decades of Met Publications – free
Guggenheim Publications – free
Getty – Virtual Library
Predicting Exam Score
Reading Record Cards
Dictionary of Symbols
Poetry Teaching Resources
BRN01 AP Literature MC Test Brown 2106
BRN02 Poe – Brown – TCU APSI 2016
BRN03 Fooling with Words Brown TCU 2016
BRN04 Quiet 2016 TCU – Brown
BRN05 Ray Bradbury Short Stories
BRN06 Why Re-read
BRN07 Batter my heart TCU Brown 2016
BRN08 The Gazers Spirit Visual Art and Poetry – Brown TCU 2016
BRN09 Improve Student Writing
BRN10 Tone is important
BRN11 Carl Sandburg
BRN12 Tartuffe Earnest Soprano TCU Brown 2016
BRN13 Murder in the Cathedral
BRN14 Comedic Criticism Irony and Satire TCU 2016
BRN15 Twain and Vonnegut
BRN01 Batter My Heart (meta)physical poets
BRN02 Comedic Criticism – Irony and Satire
BRN03 Teaching Poe to the “Walking Dead” Generation
BRN04 Ray Bradbury Short Stories
BRN05 Tone is important?
BRN06 AP Literature MC Test
BRN07 Poetry – “Fooling with Words” – Bill Moyers special
BRN08 Quiet – The Power of Introverts
BRN09 Helping Students begin to improve their writing – focus on the 3 essays for AP Literature
BRN10 “Murder in the Catherdal” The individual’s opposition to authority
BRN11 Carl Sandbury and Langston Hughes – Workingmen’s Poets
BRN12 In Sunlight or in Shadow – Short Stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper
BRN13 The Poisonwood Bible – A Novel – The voice of the Price women
The 2017 AP English Literature Free Response Questions focus on varying themes and are each structured differently. For an overview of the three prompt types that you may encounter, read The Ultimate Guide to 2016 AP English Literature FRQs. Here we discuss the third FRQ prompt which allows you to choose a particular work of literature as the focus of your essay.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is a well-known classic novel. Herein we will discuss how to determine if the given prompt is appropriate for this particular literary work and give you an idea of what to review before your exam.
Jane Eyre AP English Lit Essay Themes
To choose a literary work to answer your prompt, it’s important to examine the themes which are outlined in the assigned essay. If the theme is not relevant or well established in a work, you will do well to choose another title to examine. The following are the main themes which you may discuss in your Jane Eyre AP English Lit Essay.
Love Vs Personal Freedom is a major theme in this novel. Jane struggles with the pursuit of meaningful relationships. She wants desperately to be loved, but not at the expense of her own values or sense of self-worth.
Religion is another prevalent theme in the story. Jane tries to find a balance between the religion she sees and her own ideas of morality. Eventually, she rejects the concrete idea of religion via the church but remains spiritually connected to God. She decides that she doesn’t need a structured religion to live a good life as a Christian.
Social Class is the third central theme in the book. Jane is a victim of Victorian England’s social class system. Because she was raised by the aristocratic caste, she feels uncomfortable in her role as a servant. It’s an internal struggle which she has to deal with causing her to speak out against the system, and it’s treatment of people.
How to use Jane Eyre for the 2017 AP English Literature Free Response Questions
Jane Eyre is a well-known literary work, with which you should be familiar. It may well be a viable choice for the AP English Lit free response question. However, that is dependent on the question. Each year the 3rd FRQ is different, and the CollegeBoard supplies a list of suggested books to reference for your essay. The absence of a book from the list does not disqualify it from use, that being said; it’s important to know how to choose which book to use for the given analysis.
In preparation for your exam, it’s a good idea to read previous years’ free response questions posted on CollegeBoard. The following review is for the 2016 FRQ prompt.
2016 FRQ 3: Many works of literature contain a character who intentionally deceives others. The character’s dishonesty may be intended to either help or hurt. Such a character, for example, may choose to mislead others for personal safety, to spare someone’s feelings, or to carry out a crime.
Choose a novel or play in which a character deceives others. Then, in a well-written essay, analyze the motives for that character’s deception and discuss how the deception contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole.
Jane Eyre is on the suggested list for this prompt for obvious reasons. The theme of deception is represented by various characters in the story. The most prominent one is Edward Rochester, who lies to hide his insane wife in his attic. A possible thesis is as follows.
In Jane Eyre, Edward Rochester lives a life based on deceit. He pursues his own type of happiness by hiding his wife, lying, and working to please only himself. However, this life of deception and selfishness is unacceptable to Jane, causing a conflict central to the story.
To support this thesis, you may point out that Rochester tried to justify his wrongdoings to Jane and seemed to have even bought into his own deceit, as seen in the following quotes.
“Nature meant me to be, on the whole, a good man, Miss Eyre: one of the better end; and you see I am not so. […] Then take my word for it,—I am not a villain: you are not to suppose that—not to attribute to me any such bad eminence; but, owing, I verily believe, rather to circumstances than to my natural bent, I am a trite common-place sinner, hackneyed in all the poor petty dissipations with which the rich and worthless try to put on life.” (1.14.61)
“Besides, since happiness is irrevocably denied me, I have a right to get pleasure out of life: and I will get it, cost what it may.” (1.14.63-65)
However, Jane does not entirely buy into his explanations and argues that he would sully her if she allowed him to marry her, despite his ongoing marriage.
“And what will you do, Janet, while I am bargaining for so many tons of flesh and such an assortment of black eyes?”
“I’ll be preparing myself to go out as a missionary to preach liberty to them that are enslaved—your harem inmates amongst the rest. I’ll get admitted there, and I’ll stir up mutiny; and you, three-tailed bashaw as you are, sir, shall in a trice find yourself fettered amongst our hands: nor will I, for one, consent to cut your bonds till you have signed a charter, the most liberal that despot ever yet conferred.” (2.9.129-132)
To examine another possible use for Jane Eyre on your 2017 English Lit Exam we will take a look at another prompt.
2015 FRQ 3: In literary works, cruelty often functions as a crucial motivation or a major social or political factor. Select a novel, play, or epic poem in which acts of cruelty are important to the theme. Then write a well-developed essay analyzing how cruelty functions in the work as a whole and what the cruelty reveals about the perpetrator and/or victim.
Although Jane Eyre is not on the suggested list for this particular prompt, you can still write a well-thought out essay for the novel. Cruelty is an underlying theme throughout the story. A possible thesis is as follows. In Jane Eyre, the subject of cruelty manifests in both physical and psychological means of individuals and society. This abhorrent behavior shapes the character of Jane Eyre throughout her life, coloring the way she interacts with the world. The isolation and ostracization she experiences, early in her life, are the driving force behind her need to feel loved and accepted, later in the story.
To elaborate on this thesis and explain what it reveals about the perpetrator and/or victim, you will need to choose your examples and expand upon them. In the following quote, Jane is reminded, yet again, of her own poverty and told that she should be thankful for what little she has.
“You ought to be aware, Miss, that you are under obligations to Mrs. Reed: she keeps you: if she were to turn you off, you would have to go to the poor-house.”’You ought to be aware, Miss, that you are under obligations to Mrs. Reed: she keeps you: if she were to turn you off, you would have to go to the poor-house.’
I had nothing to say to these words: they were not new to me: my very first recollections of existence included hints of the same kind. This reproach of my dependence had become a vague sing-song in my ear; very painful and crushing, but only half intelligible.” (1.2.14-16)
In the next excerpt, Jane describes the way she was exiled even in a home filled with other children. She describes herself as something that does not fit with the household norm.
“I was a discord in Gateshead Hall; I was like nobody there; I had nothing in harmony with Mrs. Reed or her children, or her chosen vassalage. If they did not love me, in fact, as little did I love them. They were not bound to regard with affection a thing that could not sympathize with one amongst them; a heterogeneous thing, opposed to them in temperament, in capacity, in propensities; a useless thing, incapable of serving their interest, or adding to their pleasure; a noxious thing, cherishing the germs of indignation at their treatment, of contempt of their judgment. I know that had I been a sanguine, brilliant, careless, exacting, handsome, romping child—though equally dependent and friendless—Mrs. Reed would have endured my presence more complacently; her children would have entertained for me more of the cordiality of fellow-feeling; the servants would have been less prone to make me the scape-goat of the nursery.” (1.2.30)
Thanks to her upbringing, and the way she was looked down on for having no money, Jane has a fear of poverty.
“Poverty looks grim to grown people; still more so to children: they have not much idea of industrious, working, respectable poverty; they think of the world only as connected with ragged clothes, scanty food, fireless grates, rude manners, and debasing vices: poverty for me was synonymous with degradation.” (1.3.63)
In the next passage, Jane explains how her isolation caused her to view school as a welcome change.
“I scarcely knew what school was; Bessie sometimes spoke of it as a place where young ladies sat in the stocks, wore backboards, and were expected to be exceedingly genteel and precise; John Reed hated his school, and abused his master: but John Reed’s tastes were no rule for mine, and if Bessie’s accounts of school-discipline (gathered from the young ladies of a family where she had lived before coming to Gateshead) were somewhat appalling, her details of certain accomplishments attained by these same ladies were, I thought, equally attractive. She boasted of beautiful paintings of landscapes and flowers by them executed; of songs they could sing and pieces they could play, of purses they could net, of French books they could translate; till my spirit was moved to emulation as I listened. Besides, school would be a complete change: it implied a long journey, an entire separation from Gateshead, an entrance into a new life.” (1.3.70)
In the following quotation, you will notice that Jane’s previous experiences with unjust cruelty made her unaccepting of the idea that one should be kind in response to cruelty.
“If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way: they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse. When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should—so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again. […] I must dislike those who, whatever I do to please them, persist in disliking me; I must resist those who punish me unjustly. It is as natural as that I should love those who show me affection, or submit to punishment when I feel it is deserved.” (1.6.50, 52)
The experiences which Jane underwent in her childhood caused her to see her situation at Lowood in a different fashion than those people who may have come from a happy home.
“Probably, if I had lately left a good home and kind parents, this would have been the hour when I should most keenly have regretted the separation: that wind would then have saddened my heart; this obscure chaos would have disturbed my peace: as it was I derived from both a strange excitement, and reckless and feverish, I wished the wind to howl more wildly, the gloom to deepen to darkness, and the confusion to rise to clamour.” (1.6.14)
In the next excerpt, Jane explains that her need for approval and love supersedes her want to be morally just.
“’If all the world hated you, and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.’
No: I know I should think well of myself; but that is not enough: if others don’t love me, I would rather die than live—I cannot bear to be solitary and hated, Helen.’” (1.8.11-12)
The following passage illustrates how important a sense of family was to Jane, owing to her lack of family and love, during her childhood.
“‘And you,’ I interrupted, ‘cannot at all imagine the craving I have for fraternal and sisterly love. I never had a home, I never had brothers or sisters; I must and will have them now: you are not reluctant to admit me and own me, are you?’” (3.7.127)
In conclusion, Jane Eyre has many themes you may find helpful for the last Free Response Question on the AP English Literature Exam. When reading the prompt and deciding on what literary work to use for your essay, remember to choose a subject where the theme outlined in the given instructions is prevalent.
In the case of Jane Eyre, love vs. personal freedom, religion, and social classes are a few of the more prominent themes discussed. However, as we saw with the 2016 prompt example, this story has many underlying themes which you may examine for your Jane Eyre AP English Lit Essay.
For more help preparing for your AP English Literature exam we suggest you read The Ultimate Guide to 2016 AP English Literature FRQs and The Ultimate Guide to 2015 AP English Literature FRQs. And, for writing advice for the AP English Lit free response questions, Albert.io’s AP English Literature section has practice free response sections with sample answers and rubrics.
Looking for AP English Literature practice?
Kickstart your AP English Literature prep with Albert. Start your AP exam prep today.