Point of View:
Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.
Reviews and Literary Criticism:
How does the title help you understand the book better? Would your reading or understanding of the book change if the title were different? Could you think of alternate titles for the story? Does the title refer to another piece or literature or a religious figure or symbol?
How would you compare the epigraph to the book as a whole, a specific character, or a theme of the story?
Compare two or more characters. How are their personalities or situations similar? How are they different? Which character do you think changes the most in the book and why? Who is your favorite character and why? Are the characters well-rounded or one-dimensional?
From whose viewpoint is the story being told? Would the story have been more effective if it had been from a different character’s viewpoint? Which character and why? Do you think that the narrator is reliable? What biases does the narrator have? If the novel has several narrators which one do you think is the best and why?
How does the location affect the story? How is the setting a character?
What historical events are portrayed in the story? What historical events happened at the same time that weren’t included? Is the story set in one time period or many?
Is the story believable? Do any of the plot twists seem contrived? Did you like the ending?
Who or what is symbolic?
To what extent is the novel autobiographical?
Who or what is the story alluding to? A literary or religious work? A historical or contemporary place or person? Can you compare the story or character to what it is being alluded to?
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the King's horses and all the King's men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
When was the book published? In what ways do the characters reflect the social constraints of that time period? Do you think that the characters would be different if the novel was written today, how so?
Do you think that gender typical stereotypes still exist today? Are they similar to Charlotte Bronte’s time or have they changed?
What quotes or passages seem particularly significant? Find a thought-provoking quotation or philosophy and discuss it.
Go to Author Resources and take quotes or comments from articles on the novel and respond to them.