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Jane Burnham. PowerPoint by Agnes, Becky and Roanna. Key Questions. What is the character’s appearance? She doesn’t fit in with the crowd, looks strange, different, dresses in dull clothes and seems dark at times due to her makeup. What strengths and weaknesses does the character have?

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Jane burnham

Jane Burnham

PowerPoint by Agnes, Becky and Roanna


Key questions
Key Questions

  • What is the character’s appearance?

    She doesn’t fit in with the crowd, looks strange, different, dresses in dull clothes and seems dark at times due to her makeup.

  • What strengths and weaknesses does the character have?

    Weaknesses – She has low self esteem (this is shown when she is looking up breast augmentation), she needs someone to look up to, inadequate to herself. Strengths- She is able see through Ricky’s weirdness even when Angela disagrees with Jane over Ricky.


  • What does the character think and/or say about themselves? That she doesn’t think she is pretty, she wants to change her body even though it isn’t necessary. She thinks she isn’t important enough.

  • How does the character act and react? She has an unenthusiastic look on her face and she acts awkward. e.g. Cheerleader scene, dinner table scenes (seated in between Carolyn and Lester) and when she is standing with Angela at school. But she is touched and fully engaged in Ricky’s perspective of ‘beauty’.

  • Is the character associated with particular settings or personal possessions? Jane is associated with high school and is a cheerleader.


  • What is the character’s background? Jane is a typical fifteen-year-old teenager. She is also the daughter of Lester and Carolyn Burnham. At her high school, she is also a cheerleader.

  • What beliefs and values does the character have?

    She does not like the idea of Lester attempting to get closer to Angela and vice versa. She wished that she was closer to her family.

  • How would you describe the character’s personality? Jane is self-contemptuous on both her appearance and her body. She also wants to be loved as she lacks love.

  • What do other characters think and/or say about the character in question? To Jane, Carolyn says, 'Honey, I'm so proud of you. I watched you very closely, and you didn't screw up once!‘ and she also says 'You ungrateful little brat!‘. Ricky says to Jane 'I just think you are interesting.‘ and he also says 'I am not obsessing. I'm just curious.'


Quotes
Quotes

  • Jane. Honey. Are you trying to look unattractive? - Carolyn Burnham

  • And we'll always be freaks and we'll never be like other people and you'll never be a freak because you're just too... perfect!-Jane Burnham

  • Janie's a pretty typical teenager - angry, insecure, confused. – Lester Burnham


Adjectives
Adjectives

  • Abnormal

  • Grouchy

  • Rebellious

  • Tough

  • Unusual

  • Young

  • Erratic


Class activity
Class Activity

  • For Jane, write down six adjectives and at least three quotes to describe her.


Summary
Summary

  • Jane is a character in American Beauty that doesn’t fit in with the crowd. She lets people see a different outer appearance of her even though on the inside she has low self esteem and needs someone to look up to such as Lester. Jane portrays a character that is important to Angela as Jane is Angela’s only friend. Janehas a good sense of moral for example she tells Angela not to have intercourse with Lester and to tell Lester to stop staring at Angela.