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Themes in the Show

Fire & Ice

Fire – A Passionate Spirit

Jane has a zeal for life, a longing for experiences, and a deep passion for those she cares about. She’s one fiery woman – and it shows.  

Literally. Fire plays an important role in the play – it has the power to embrace you with warmth and the power to destroy you in a blaze.  

Fire is pretty well known for representing passion, emotion, and intensity. It’s a handy metaphor!  

What do you think of when you think of fire? Where else have you seen this metaphor?  

Ice – Oppressive Forces

Just as fire shows up in many ways in Jane Eyre, so does ice.


The landscape and the winters can be harsh, but the people can be prickly and cold as an icicle, too. Another handy metaphor – and the direct opposite of fire.  

Think about iconic characters from TV or movies. Who would you describe as an Icy character?

"Fire and Ice" is an important metaphor in the story. Let's look at a video that explains how metaphors work to shape the world.


These themes appear in another iconic work by Robert Frost. Read through the poem as a group. Which element – fire or ice – do you think is the most (metaphorically) destructive?  

Activity: A Poem of Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice

by Robert Frost

Some say the world will end in fire, 

Some say in ice. 

From what I’ve tasted of desire 

I hold with those who favor fire. 

But if it had to perish twice, 

I think I know enough of hate 

To say that for destruction ice 

Is also great 

And would suffice. 


It's a Tough Call

Jane finds herself faced with impossible choices and dire situations. They carry heavy consequences - and Jane has to decide how to respond.

What would you do in Jane’s shoes? What factors in your life would influence your decisions?


Activity: For each situation in the slide show, have the class take sides - literally. Designate one part of the room as the first choice and another part as the second.

Decision Time



Let the debate begin - what would you do? And can you convince others to join your side...

Teachers - have fun with it! You get to decide the "what ifs"...

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