Helen Burns, Jane’s friend at Lowood School, serves as a foil to Mr. Brocklehurst as well as to Jane. While Mr. Brocklehurst embodies an evangelical form of religion that seeks to strip others of their excessive pride or of their ability to take pleasure in worldly things, Helen represents a mode of Christianity that stresses tolerance and acceptance. Brocklehurst uses religion to gain power and to control others; Helen ascetically trusts her own faith and turns the other cheek to Lowood’s harsh policies.
Although Helen manifests a certain strength and intellectual maturity, her efforts involve self-negation rather than self-assertion, and Helen’s submissive and ascetic nature highlights Jane’s more headstrong character. Like Jane, Helen is an orphan who longs for a home, but Helen believes that she will find this home in Heaven rather than Northern England. And while Helen is not oblivious to the injustices the girls suffer at Lowood, she believes that justice will be found in God’s ultimate judgment—God will reward the good and punish the evil. Jane, on the other hand, is unable to have such blind faith. Her quest is for love and happiness in this world. Nevertheless, she counts on God for support and guidance in her search.
More characters from Jane Eyre
When reading this imagine that you are Jane Erye. Try and relate yourself to the situation that the character is going through. That way you can follow the mindset of the book.
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jane eyre is brill
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In Jane Eyre it is certain that the number of women over rides the number of men; however, in the novel you will notice that mothers are limited. There are adoptive motherly figures, for example Miss Temple and Mrs Fairfax, but the only true mother that we see (alive) is Mrs Reed, and quite simply - she is not a good mother! On the next read, look at how little mothers appear - and think/link this back to Brontë's life and her motherly influences.
Hope this gives you an extra point to look at and write on! x
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