Monthly Archives: December 2008

The 2009 Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest

The 2009 Scholarship Essay Contest of Signet Classic is currently accepting essay entries. This scholarship contest is open to all junior and senior high school students who are attending schools in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. This is likewise open to home-schooled students between the ages of 16-18 who are residents of the United States and the District of Columbia.

There is no purchase necessary to join in this contest. Interested participants should write a 2 to 3 pages essay typed in double-spaced on one of four topics below from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte:
1. Erica Jong, in her “Introduction,” in the Signet Classic edition, states: The universe of JANE EYRE operates according to female laws. Jane’s success as a heroine depends on her breaking all the rules decreed for nineteenth-century women.” (p. viii).  To what extent is Jane Eyre an appropriate heroine for the feminist movement? In what ways, if any, does she fall short? Give examples from the novel to support your conclusions.
2. In outline, the novel is a Victorian update of the Cinderella story; a non-descript young woman, poor and abused, catches the eye of a Prince Charming, powerful and wealthy. After a series of obstacles, she marries him, and they live happily ever after. Do you regard the Jane/Rochester story as a fairy tale? If so, discuss the reasons for your opinion. What elements make their love affair seem like a fantasy? Or, do you believe the love between them is realistic? If so, what accounts for their strong attachment to each other despite the differences between them?
3. Discuss the elements of “paranormal” or supernatural experiences in the novel. Use specific examples to illustrate the way characters’ dreams and visions help advance the narrative, reveal psychological complexity, build suspense and evoke sympathy for the characters? You may also discuss the ways such elements enhance (or detract from) the overall realism in the novel.
4. Discuss the issue of social class in the novel. What overt or implied class differences exist between Jane, the governess, and her employers and her young charges? How is Jane’s status different from that of other servants in the household? Use specific scenes that illustrate the social system that existed.

Signet will choose five winners who will receive $1000 each toward their college education. The school library of the winners will also receive Signet Classics. Deadline of essay submission is on April 15, 2009. Please be noted that only English teacher of the student can submit the essay through mail and that the essay must be submitted in 3 copies.

For more details about the 2009 Scholarship Essay Contest of Signet Classic, please read here.