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How does religion affect the novel Jane Eyre by charlotte Bront?

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Introduction

How does religion affect the novel Jane Eyre by charlotte Bront�? In the preface to Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bront� writes, "narrow human doctrines... should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ." And this is not the only place that religious references, more specifically Christian references, are mentioned in the preface. In fact there are Christian references in many places in the preface. Charlotte Bront� was the daughter of a Church of England vicar who would almost certainly affected her religious beliefs and in the time the book was written religion played a larger part in the day-to-day lives of most people. As you can tell from these comments in the preface and her religious influences, Charlotte Bront� is clearly Christian so in this essay I will discuss the effect her religion had on the novel. I will do this by analysing the portrayal of religious characters. First I will distinguish which characters are religious characters. In order of appearance in novel, the first notably religious character would be Mr Brocklehurst, the treasurer and manager of Lowood institution. ...read more.

Middle

This quote is saying that in the name of his god he must purify the sprit of the girls whatever effect this may have on the living body. This is in keeping with the beliefs of Calvinism, but he and his family are shown to dress and behave like a typical upper class family. Helen Burns is another student at Lowood Institute who strictly follows the doctrine of Calvinism (or reformed theology) which is the belief that only god can bring salvation. She says that we should all follow in the path of Jesus, forgive all evils and love all. This leads her to accept whatever punishment and criticism given even though it may not be deserved. For example after being beaten Helen told Jane: "the Bible bids us return good for evil." In the storyline this difference in opinion between Helen Burns and Jane Eyre causes many disagreements and allows different views on religion to be shown. Mr St John Rivers is a clergyman who takes Jane in when she runs away. ...read more.

Conclusion

He hides emotion and has become like a robot: "With all his firmness and self-control," thought I, "he tasks himself too far: locks every feeling and pang within - expresses, confesses, imparts nothing." In conclusion I think that religion has a rather negative portrayal as most of the religious characters are portrayed badly and/or hide all emotions, and Jane Eyre finds it impossible to believe in a particular doctrine. I think that Mr. Brocklehurst and Mr. St John Rivers overall are not portrayed positively where Helen Burns is portrayed positively but almost like a robot without emotion. Helen Burns sees dying young as a good thing: By dying young, I shall escape great sufferings. I had not qualities or talents to make my way very well in the world: I should have been continually at fault." Mr St John Rivers wanted to marry Jane, not for love, but to take her to India as a missionary's wife. And finally Mr Brocklehurst caused great suffering to the girls at Lowood institute and said it was for the sake of their souls. How does religion affect the novel Jane Eyre by charlotte Bront�? Abigail Hopkins Coursework 2nd draft 1 ...read more.

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