Hypocrisy in Religion in Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre is a classical book that was composed by Charlotte Bronte and initially released in 1847. At the time, the unique provided styles that were taboo or really unusual in that era. One theme that is focused upon throughout the novel is that of religion. In the very beginning of the story, 2 characters who are seemingly alike and yet rather opposite in concerns to religious beliefs are presented; Mr. Brocklehurst, the owner of the Lowood school, and Helen Burns, a trainee of Lowood. They both come from the Evangelical creed, however both establish various ways of revealing their beliefs.
These 2 recognized basic views are presented in the starting to contrast the opinions of Jane that are thereafter a main part in the story and development of Jane’s character. We first fulfill Mr. Brocklehurst when he comes to Jane’s house at the demand of Mrs. Reed. He is informed by Mrs. Reed that Jane is a wicked kid who needs spiritual saving. One of his first concerns he asks Jane concerns her spiritual well being. “Where do the wicked pursue death?” he asks. “They go to Hell,” Jane responses. When Brocklehurst asks how one stays out of Hell, Jane responds one ought to not die.
Brocklehurst retorts that he had actually simply buried a child that was surely going to paradise, however that he might not state the exact same for Jane. When asked if she liked the Bible, Jane reacts with the books she likes out of it. Brocklehurst thinks that Jane thinking the Book of Psalms is boring proves she has a wicked heart (Chap 4, pg 27-28). At Lowoood, he orders that all ladies with curly hair requirement to have it cut off even if it is natural for, “we are not to comply with nature … I want the hair to be set up carefully, decently, clearly Miss Temple” (Chap 7, pg 61).
With these examples of Brocklehurst’s forced views one can see the hypocrisy and outright rigidity of it all. Brockelhurst himself resides in a “big hall” far from Lowood and after he orders the ladies hair to be cut, 2 women come in with expensive clothing, fashion jewelry, and finely curled hair; among them being the other half of Brockelhurst and the other a relative (Chap 7, pg 62). It is revealed that he does not live as he teaches and does not stick to the Christian worths of goodness. He is all for pricing estimate the Bible and yet does not have the total spiritual end of the faith.
His judgmental character towards everybody else allows him to feel effective and dominant, and godly himself. On the other hand is Helen Burns, an orphan child who has actually participated in Lowood for two years. Rather of being mad or bitter about it, she accepts these punishments due to the fact that she self undoubtedly has “faults” that require to be changed. She states, It is far much better to sustain patiently a wise which no one feels however yourself, than to commit a rash action whose evil repercussions will degree to all connected to you” (Chap 6, pg 52).
She abides by this Christian doctrine and protects those that cruelly punish her, specifically Miss Scratcherd, who made her stand atop a stool also in front of everyone, and hit her (Chap 6, pg 50). She returns good for evil, and does not disagree or hold any objections to what she thinks is wrongfully done around her. Even on her death bed Helen praises God for her passing away at a young age, “By passing away young, I shall get away excellent sufferings” (Chap 9, pg 80). Helen, unlike Brockelhurst, is totally spiritual.
She takes her religious worths and uses them through deeds instead of shallow words. But, Helen does not feel the need to defend righteousness. Jane is like Brockelhurst in that she is not scared to say what she believes to be right, and like Helen because she has the standard ethical principles and spiritual insights to do so. She does not think in arranged religion in any way, but has a view that individuals must think in what they think would make them a much better person.
She, however, does this while still believing in the Christian God, perhaps because of custom, or maybe due to the fact that she discovered for herself that the Christian God is what “works for her.” She is opposite of Helen in the way that she is really outspoken about what she believes must be the way things occur. Like when Helen got in problem and had the word “Slattern” pasted on her forehead, Jane ripped it off in anger at the oppression, while Helen was material in letting her punishment take place (Chap 8, pg 72).
St. John Rivers shares many Christian beliefs with Helen Burns, he presents another spectrum of the spiritual movement that Bronte discourages. It is clear that St. John is a religious believer who devotes “a large part of his time … going to the ill and poor amongst the scattered population of his parish.” (Chap 30, pg 355) However, his commitment to God does not make him a saint. Bronte makes this point clear when Jane observes at one of his sermons. “Throughout there was an odd bitterness; an absence of consolatory gentleness; stern allusions … I made certain St.
John Rivers– pure-lived, conscientious, zealous as he was– had not yet found that peace of God which passeth all understanding: he ran out discovered it, I believed, than had I.”(Chap 30, pg 357). Bronte not just concerns St. John’s saintliness however also questions his dedication to Christianity. As a clergyman, he ought to enjoy his task and love his enemies, rather he “did not appear to take pleasure in” his works and overlooks Jane, prevents her, and treats her in a different way after she declined his proposal. He like Mr. Brocklehurst preaches to serve however does not constantly practice this himself.
He believes that he understands what God thinks and desires others to do. Unlike Helen Burns, he is a malfunctioning mortal. By exposing St. John’s defects, Bronte shows that doing God’s work on Earth does not indicate total Christian piety. Jane ultimately discovers a comfortable spiritual middle-ground that is not overbearing like Mr. Brocklehurst’s, that is not submissive like Helen Burn’s, and that is not dispassionate like St. John’s. For Jane or rather for Bronte, faith not only helps them discover everlasting joy in heaven, however also assist them discover the necessary needs of human life.