Jane Eyre religion

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gilmorelove
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#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
Could you please give me some advice about this
How does Bronte use the people Jane encounters in the novel to show the way religion has shaped her?
In the beginning of the novel, the reader is introduced to the cruel Mr Brocklehurst who is a hypocritical patron of Lowood School. He tells Jane how she has a “heart of stone”, which is ironic since he has a stone heart and Jane’s is “flesh”. Furthermore, he forcefully installs his beliefs into Jane about religion and also social class- he believed that a girl’s “natural” curls must “be cut off entirely” whilst his richer daughters could have “light tresses, elaborately curled”. Such hypocrisy shows how shallow Mr Brocklehurst is and how his view of religion is unethical and cruel.
Furthermore, he wishes to “starve” their “vile bodies” but improve their souls for God. This satanical view of cruelty is Bronte questioning people’s devotion to religion at that time- she is perhaps highlighting the extreme lengths some people went to for religious purposes.
Bronte uses Helen Burns to present an ethereal person; “the bible bids us return good for evil” is taken to the extremes with Helen when she is cruelly treated but still continues to love her enemies even when they are very horrible to her. Bronte uses the strict comparison between Jane, who says what she thinks and stands up for herself, to Helen who willingly accepts punishments. Helen Burns helped Jane to become more accepting, but Jane’s passion remained strong.
Mr Rochester is the complete comparison to St John- Mr Rochester had been tempted with the beautiful women, and he had many sinful affairs which contrasts to the completely impassionate St John who would never dare to do such a thing. Furthermore, Mr Rochester tries to marry Jane, regardless of the fact that he is already married. The chestnut tree which “split in half” resembles a warning from God, but he payed no attention to it. His passion even leads to him asking jane to be his mistress.
Jane’s strength of character is shaped by her morals; religion has shown her what is right and wrong, and she sticks by these values all the time. The values show her that she is equal to Mr Rochester, for she stays true to herself. Moreover, when Jane decides to leave him “instantly”, we see that even love and passion does not affect her values or morals. This shows her steely independence and also that love has not completely changed her.
St John is another extreme example of religion, he “labours for his race” and he only wants to marry Jane as a companion for India, not because he loved her. This shows how he gave up love, for he believed God was the most important thing whereas Jane values love more. Therefore, the reader can see that Jane still loves Rochester.
The book ends with St John, who has died in India doing Gods work. Bronte finishes with his to show that Jane valued him as a brother, but not as a lover. It also shows the audience that she chose the right man, and God rewarded her by giving Rochester some sight back.
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Parker Tracy
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#2
Report 3 years ago
#2
OK - I would question some of the statements you make here, and I'm not convinced you fully answer the question. the question is about how the people Jane encounters shape her. You deal with, on the whole, what these characters' religious beliefs are, but you do little to show how Jane actually evolves as a character. And she does evolve.

To begin with, your response to the question requires an introduction - which should set out what your thesis is. In this case, it is that the novel charts Jane's progression from childhood to maturity, and in the course of this she encounters a number of characters whose religious beliefs shape and influence her outlook. Before Jane goes to Lowood school we see that she is a character of great passion - there is the scene where she behaves savagely when bullied by John Reid. We then see at Lowood, how the good influence of Miss Temple (consider the religious symbolism of her name) and the stoicism of Helen Burns (Helen is not "ethereal" as you state, I think you should look that word up) both transform Jane. You might want to look at the scene where Jane is punished by Mr Brocklehurst, and how she reacts to this, and then compare this to how Helen Burns absorbs her punishment, and epitomises, as you state, Christian values of forgiveness.
You state that "Mr Rochester is the complete comparison to St John Rivers" - I think you mean "antithesis" rather than "comparison" here. The important point to note is that both of these men represent extremities. Mr Rochester is the Byronic hero, a man who is passionate, who has - as you note, led a suspect lifestyle (there is speculation that Adele may be his daughter) - and who is prepared to defy legal, moral and religious absolutes in committing bigamy. What effect does this have on Jane though? How does it shape her? Well, we see that as much as Jane is still a passionate person, she is not prepared to defy her moral and religious beliefs in order to marry Mr Rochester, and leaves Thornfield Hall in order to maintain her principles. And you'll want to refer here to Thornfield (the name is significant again) being a place where passion is really at boiling point - as represented by Bertha's fire starting, which connotes hell fire of course.
St John Rivers is also an extremist. He is the polar opposite of Rochester though. He is not passionate about earthly pleasures, but about God. You'll want to compare his proposal to Rochester's and Jane's reaction to both. Consider also the religious connotations of his name - water being an important symbol in Christian religion which washes away sin. Jane learns, from being in St John's company that moral/religious extremity is as diminishing to her as the extremity represented by Rochester.
Thus - we are building a picture that Jane finds a middle ground as a result of the influence of both men - that both men represent extremes, and Jane learns that neither of these extremes is a satisfactory way to live. That there needs to be harmony between the two realms of heaven and earth.
I don't think you can end your essay by saying "Jane chose the right man" - Jane only comes to marry Rochester at the novel's end, because she and he have both fundamentally changed. Likewise, i would not attribute Rochester regaining his sight as due to God's intervention. It's important that you do not make a statement unless you can back up that statement with textual evidence (ie quotes from the novel). Your essay also requires a conclusion where you can summarise your key arguments - that Jane's encounters with both positive religious influences (Helen, Miss Temple) and negative ones (Mr Brocklehurst) ensures she evolves as a character. We see that evolution at its clearest in her relationships with Rochester and St John Rivers, who represent these two extremes. This is resolved to our satisfaction though, when she is reunited with Rochester, and is able to marry him unimpeded in the eyes of God. As a side note - probably not strictly relevant to this essay question, but worth noting, that at the novel's end Jane and Rochester are presented as equals. His blindness/injuries means his strength is compromised and he must rely on Jane. Thus she marries him as an equal, as a partner - contrast this to earlier in the novel where there is a clear power differential.

I hope all this helps you.
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IsMo987
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#3
Report 3 years ago
#3
(Original post by gilmorelove)
Could you please give me some advice about this
How does Bronte use the people Jane encounters in the novel to show the way religion has shaped her?
In the beginning of the novel, the reader is introduced to the cruel Mr Brocklehurst who is a hypocritical patron of Lowood School. He tells Jane how she has a “heart of stone”, which is ironic since he has a stone heart and Jane’s is “flesh”. Furthermore, he forcefully installs his beliefs into Jane about religion and also social class- he believed that a girl’s “natural” curls must “be cut off entirely” whilst his richer daughters could have “light tresses, elaborately curled”. Such hypocrisy shows how shallow Mr Brocklehurst is and how his view of religion is unethical and cruel.
Furthermore, he wishes to “starve” their “vile bodies” but improve their souls for God. This satanical view of cruelty is Bronte questioning people’s devotion to religion at that time- she is perhaps highlighting the extreme lengths some people went to for religious purposes.
Bronte uses Helen Burns to present an ethereal person; “the bible bids us return good for evil” is taken to the extremes with Helen when she is cruelly treated but still continues to love her enemies even when they are very horrible to her. Bronte uses the strict comparison between Jane, who says what she thinks and stands up for herself, to Helen who willingly accepts punishments. Helen Burns helped Jane to become more accepting, but Jane’s passion remained strong.
Mr Rochester is the complete comparison to St John- Mr Rochester had been tempted with the beautiful women, and he had many sinful affairs which contrasts to the completely impassionate St John who would never dare to do such a thing. Furthermore, Mr Rochester tries to marry Jane, regardless of the fact that he is already married. The chestnut tree which “split in half” resembles a warning from God, but he payed no attention to it. His passion even leads to him asking jane to be his mistress.
Jane’s strength of character is shaped by her morals; religion has shown her what is right and wrong, and she sticks by these values all the time. The values show her that she is equal to Mr Rochester, for she stays true to herself. Moreover, when Jane decides to leave him “instantly”, we see that even love and passion does not affect her values or morals. This shows her steely independence and also that love has not completely changed her.
St John is another extreme example of religion, he “labours for his race” and he only wants to marry Jane as a companion for India, not because he loved her. This shows how he gave up love, for he believed God was the most important thing whereas Jane values love more. Therefore, the reader can see that Jane still loves Rochester.
The book ends with St John, who has died in India doing Gods work. Bronte finishes with his to show that Jane valued him as a brother, but not as a lover. It also shows the audience that she chose the right man, and God rewarded her by giving Rochester some sight back.
Hi do you have any Jane eyre notes you could send me thank you
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username4565188
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#4
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#4
(Original post by LiyoS)
OK - I would question some of the statements you make here, and I'm not convinced you fully answer the question. the question is about how the people Jane encounters shape her. You deal with, on the whole, what these characters' religious beliefs are, but you do little to show how Jane actually evolves as a character. And she does evolve.

To begin with, your response to the question requires an introduction - which should set out what your thesis is. In this case, it is that the novel charts Jane's progression from childhood to maturity, and in the course of this she encounters a number of characters whose religious beliefs shape and influence her outlook. Before Jane goes to Lowood school we see that she is a character of great passion - there is the scene where she behaves savagely when bullied by John Reid. We then see at Lowood, how the good influence of Miss Temple (consider the religious symbolism of her name) and the stoicism of Helen Burns (Helen is not "ethereal" as you state, I think you should look that word up) both transform Jane. You might want to look at the scene where Jane is punished by Mr Brocklehurst, and how she reacts to this, and then compare this to how Helen Burns absorbs her punishment, and epitomises, as you state, Christian values of forgiveness.
You state that "Mr Rochester is the complete comparison to St John Rivers" - I think you mean "antithesis" rather than "comparison" here. The important point to note is that both of these men represent extremities. Mr Rochester is the Byronic hero, a man who is passionate, who has - as you note, led a suspect lifestyle (there is speculation that Adele may be his daughter) - and who is prepared to defy legal, moral and religious absolutes in committing bigamy. What effect does this have on Jane though? How does it shape her? Well, we see that as much as Jane is still a passionate person, she is not prepared to defy her moral and religious beliefs in order to marry Mr Rochester, and leaves Thornfield Hall in order to maintain her principles. And you'll want to refer here to Thornfield (the name is significant again) being a place where passion is really at boiling point - as represented by Bertha's fire starting, which connotes hell fire of course.
St John Rivers is also an extremist. He is the polar opposite of Rochester though. He is not passionate about earthly pleasures, but about God. You'll want to compare his proposal to Rochester's and Jane's reaction to both. Consider also the religious connotations of his name - water being an important symbol in Christian religion which washes away sin. Jane learns, from being in St John's company that moral/religious extremity is as diminishing to her as the extremity represented by Rochester.
Thus - we are building a picture that Jane finds a middle ground as a result of the influence of both men - that both men represent extremes, and Jane learns that neither of these extremes is a satisfactory way to live. That there needs to be harmony between the two realms of heaven and earth.
I don't think you can end your essay by saying "Jane chose the right man" - Jane only comes to marry Rochester at the novel's end, because she and he have both fundamentally changed. Likewise, i would not attribute Rochester regaining his sight as due to God's intervention. It's important that you do not make a statement unless you can back up that statement with textual evidence (ie quotes from the novel). Your essay also requires a conclusion where you can summarise your key arguments - that Jane's encounters with both positive religious influences (Helen, Miss Temple) and negative ones (Mr Brocklehurst) ensures she evolves as a character. We see that evolution at its clearest in her relationships with Rochester and St John Rivers, who represent these two extremes. This is resolved to our satisfaction though, when she is reunited with Rochester, and is able to marry him unimpeded in the eyes of God. As a side note - probably not strictly relevant to this essay question, but worth noting, that at the novel's end Jane and Rochester are presented as equals. His blindness/injuries means his strength is compromised and he must rely on Jane. Thus she marries him as an equal, as a partner - contrast this to earlier in the novel where there is a clear power differential.

I hope all this helps you.
wow you are amazing you must have really helped this person.
well done
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Parker Tracy
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#5
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#5
Hi IsMo, I'm afraid I don't - the last time I studied Jane Eyre was as an undergraduate and that was some years ago now. Happy to try and answer any questions you have though. Best wishes.
(Original post by IsMo987)
Hi do you have any Jane eyre notes you could send me thank you
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gilmorelove
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#6
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#6
Thank you so much, this was absolutely amazing advice.
(Original post by LiyoS)
OK - I would question some of the statements you make here, and I'm not convinced you fully answer the question. the question is about how the people Jane encounters shape her. You deal with, on the whole, what these characters' religious beliefs are, but you do little to show how Jane actually evolves as a character. And she does evolve.

To begin with, your response to the question requires an introduction - which should set out what your thesis is. In this case, it is that the novel charts Jane's progression from childhood to maturity, and in the course of this she encounters a number of characters whose religious beliefs shape and influence her outlook. Before Jane goes to Lowood school we see that she is a character of great passion - there is the scene where she behaves savagely when bullied by John Reid. We then see at Lowood, how the good influence of Miss Temple (consider the religious symbolism of her name) and the stoicism of Helen Burns (Helen is not "ethereal" as you state, I think you should look that word up) both transform Jane. You might want to look at the scene where Jane is punished by Mr Brocklehurst, and how she reacts to this, and then compare this to how Helen Burns absorbs her punishment, and epitomises, as you state, Christian values of forgiveness.
You state that "Mr Rochester is the complete comparison to St John Rivers" - I think you mean "antithesis" rather than "comparison" here. The important point to note is that both of these men represent extremities. Mr Rochester is the Byronic hero, a man who is passionate, who has - as you note, led a suspect lifestyle (there is speculation that Adele may be his daughter) - and who is prepared to defy legal, moral and religious absolutes in committing bigamy. What effect does this have on Jane though? How does it shape her? Well, we see that as much as Jane is still a passionate person, she is not prepared to defy her moral and religious beliefs in order to marry Mr Rochester, and leaves Thornfield Hall in order to maintain her principles. And you'll want to refer here to Thornfield (the name is significant again) being a place where passion is really at boiling point - as represented by Bertha's fire starting, which connotes hell fire of course.
St John Rivers is also an extremist. He is the polar opposite of Rochester though. He is not passionate about earthly pleasures, but about God. You'll want to compare his proposal to Rochester's and Jane's reaction to both. Consider also the religious connotations of his name - water being an important symbol in Christian religion which washes away sin. Jane learns, from being in St John's company that moral/religious extremity is as diminishing to her as the extremity represented by Rochester.
Thus - we are building a picture that Jane finds a middle ground as a result of the influence of both men - that both men represent extremes, and Jane learns that neither of these extremes is a satisfactory way to live. That there needs to be harmony between the two realms of heaven and earth.
I don't think you can end your essay by saying "Jane chose the right man" - Jane only comes to marry Rochester at the novel's end, because she and he have both fundamentally changed. Likewise, i would not attribute Rochester regaining his sight as due to God's intervention. It's important that you do not make a statement unless you can back up that statement with textual evidence (ie quotes from the novel). Your essay also requires a conclusion where you can summarise your key arguments - that Jane's encounters with both positive religious influences (Helen, Miss Temple) and negative ones (Mr Brocklehurst) ensures she evolves as a character. We see that evolution at its clearest in her relationships with Rochester and St John Rivers, who represent these two extremes. This is resolved to our satisfaction though, when she is reunited with Rochester, and is able to marry him unimpeded in the eyes of God. As a side note - probably not strictly relevant to this essay question, but worth noting, that at the novel's end Jane and Rochester are presented as equals. His blindness/injuries means his strength is compromised and he must rely on Jane. Thus she marries him as an equal, as a partner - contrast this to earlier in the novel where there is a clear power differential.

I hope all this helps you.
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gilmorelove
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#7
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#7
honestly all of your advice was brilliant!
(Original post by gilmorelove)
Thank you so much, this was absolutely amazing advice.
(Original post by LiyoS)
OK - I would question some of the statements you make here, and I'm not convinced you fully answer the question. the question is about how the people Jane encounters shape her. You deal with, on the whole, what these characters' religious beliefs are, but you do little to show how Jane actually evolves as a character. And she does evolve.

To begin with, your response to the question requires an introduction - which should set out what your thesis is. In this case, it is that the novel charts Jane's progression from childhood to maturity, and in the course of this she encounters a number of characters whose religious beliefs shape and influence her outlook. Before Jane goes to Lowood school we see that she is a character of great passion - there is the scene where she behaves savagely when bullied by John Reid. We then see at Lowood, how the good influence of Miss Temple (consider the religious symbolism of her name) and the stoicism of Helen Burns (Helen is not "ethereal" as you state, I think you should look that word up) both transform Jane. You might want to look at the scene where Jane is punished by Mr Brocklehurst, and how she reacts to this, and then compare this to how Helen Burns absorbs her punishment, and epitomises, as you state, Christian values of forgiveness.
You state that "Mr Rochester is the complete comparison to St John Rivers" - I think you mean "antithesis" rather than "comparison" here. The important point to note is that both of these men represent extremities. Mr Rochester is the Byronic hero, a man who is passionate, who has - as you note, led a suspect lifestyle (there is speculation that Adele may be his daughter) - and who is prepared to defy legal, moral and religious absolutes in committing bigamy. What effect does this have on Jane though? How does it shape her? Well, we see that as much as Jane is still a passionate person, she is not prepared to defy her moral and religious beliefs in order to marry Mr Rochester, and leaves Thornfield Hall in order to maintain her principles. And you'll want to refer here to Thornfield (the name is significant again) being a place where passion is really at boiling point - as represented by Bertha's fire starting, which connotes hell fire of course.
St John Rivers is also an extremist. He is the polar opposite of Rochester though. He is not passionate about earthly pleasures, but about God. You'll want to compare his proposal to Rochester's and Jane's reaction to both. Consider also the religious connotations of his name - water being an important symbol in Christian religion which washes away sin. Jane learns, from being in St John's company that moral/religious extremity is as diminishing to her as the extremity represented by Rochester.
Thus - we are building a picture that Jane finds a middle ground as a result of the influence of both men - that both men represent extremes, and Jane learns that neither of these extremes is a satisfactory way to live. That there needs to be harmony between the two realms of heaven and earth.
I don't think you can end your essay by saying "Jane chose the right man" - Jane only comes to marry Rochester at the novel's end, because she and he have both fundamentally changed. Likewise, i would not attribute Rochester regaining his sight as due to God's intervention. It's important that you do not make a statement unless you can back up that statement with textual evidence (ie quotes from the novel). Your essay also requires a conclusion where you can summarise your key arguments - that Jane's encounters with both positive religious influences (Helen, Miss Temple) and negative ones (Mr Brocklehurst) ensures she evolves as a character. We see that evolution at its clearest in her relationships with Rochester and St John Rivers, who represent these two extremes. This is resolved to our satisfaction though, when she is reunited with Rochester, and is able to marry him unimpeded in the eyes of God. As a side note - probably not strictly relevant to this essay question, but worth noting, that at the novel's end Jane and Rochester are presented as equals. His blindness/injuries means his strength is compromised and he must rely on Jane. Thus she marries him as an equal, as a partner - contrast this to earlier in the novel where there is a clear power differential.

I hope all this helps you.
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