Jane Eyre – Response
Although I have only read the first twelve chapters, there are already several themes present in Charlotte Bronts Jane Eyre. So far, the most prominent of these themes is religion and morals. Jane often confronts these ideas and their relationship throughout her early life.
Religion plays an immense part in Janes childhood and her education. When religion is first mentioned in the novel, when Jane is young, she confesses to Mr. Brocklehurst that, to his disapproval, she believes Psalms are not interesting (Bront 32). Brocklehurst, as well as Janes friend Helen Burns, are huge religious figures in Janes life. However, as Jane furthers her education, she begins to hold beliefs that contradict both of them. Mr. Brocklehurst, the supervisor of Lowood, is incredibly religious.
However, he is described throughout the novel as being cruel, mean, and incredibly hypocritical. He is incredibly disrespectful and subjective towards students, and the school which he runs has terrible conditions, for students are very cold and hungry. His holds that twisted belief that God would support these things he is doing. Helen Burns, however, holds very different beliefs from those of Mr. Brocklehurst. Burns beliefs, which are very passive, include the ideas of turning the other cheek and loving your enemy. She believes in giving a positive response when receiving negative treatment. Jane comments that 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 (Bront 54). It is quite evident that Jane has begun formulating her own religious and moral beliefs. Janes criticisms of religious influences around her make it quite clear that she has a slightly different and more progressive idea. She seems to believe in equality and good morals. Im not sure she knows how she feels about the idea of God.
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