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Jane Eyre Chapters 5-10. How does Jane's relationship with Helen change her?

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Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre How does Jane's relationship with Helen Burns change her? Chapters five to ten Helen Burns relationship with Jane Eyre is significantly important to her. She is the first person to show her true kindness and her first real friend. When they first meet Jane is instantly drawn to Helen as a Kindred Spirit for she is engrossed in a book "I think her occupation touched a chord of sympathy somewhere; for I too liked reading." Although she also recognises that Helen is reading at a significantly higher level than herself as she states that she prefers reading "of a frivolous and childish kind; I could not digest or comprehend the serious or substantial." Jane questions Helen about Lowood at length and eventually Helen states "you ask rather too many questions. I have given you answers enough for now at present I want to read." Following this Jane observes Helen being punished by Miss Scatcherd and is in wonder of how she can take the punishment in front of the whole class without losing face. Jane knows that she does not have this strength of character "were I in her place, it seems to me I should wish the earth to open and swallow me up." ...read more.


Unable to make sense of this matter Jane puts her thoughts aside for another time. Jane proceeds to question Helen about her faults. She sees Helen as a good person and wonders how Helen perceives herself. Helen proceeds to list her faults and how they grate Miss Scatcherd "I am, as Miss Scatcherd said, slatternly; I seldom put, and never keep, things in order; I am careless; I forget rules; I read when I should learn my lessons; I have no method; and sometimes I say like you, I cannot bear to be subjected to systematic arrangements. This is all very provoking to Miss Scatcherd, who is naturally neat, punctual, and particular." Jane still seeks to extract an unkind word from Helen about Miss Scatcherd by adding on the end of Helen's speech "and cross and cruel" but Helen would still not admit to Jane's words. This shows that Helen is mature, wise and accepting of her way of life. Although Jane is in awe of Helen she can still not accept the way she endures punishment when she has done no wrong. Although Helen is older than Jane and wiser she also aware of her faults, she notes that she finds herself drifting ...read more.


When called to Miss Temple Jane reinforces further the feelings of awe and admiration she feels for Helen when she is conversing with Miss Temple "has a girl of fourteen a heart large enough, vigorous enough to hold the swelling spring of pure, fill fervid eloquence." After this Helen falls ill and we learn of Jane's new companion, however, although Jane has fun with her new friend there is a distinct contrast from Helen and Jane shows us how much she admires and reveres Helen by saying "Surely the Mary Ann Wilson I have mentioned was inferior to my first acquaintance." Finally when Jane learns that Helen is dying she immediately rushes to be by her side, in her dying hours Jane is there with her and Helen reassures her that she will be happy in death and that Jane must not grieve for her for she is going to God. Helen passes away in Jane's arms. The most moving and poignant part of their friendship that is although Helen is not mentioned again we know that fifteen years on Jane places a headstone on her grave, showing what a huge impact Helen had on her and what a great friendship they had. ?? ?? ?? ?? Hilary Brocks 12MM ...read more.

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