Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

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A life does not end the moment a person stops breathing. Although the person may be gone, the impact and lessons they leave behind will be carried on by those who loved them. In Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, the protagonist Jane meets a young girl named Helen when she attends the Lowood School. Although Helen dies soon after from consumption, her interactions with Jane are enough to spark a lifelong change in the heart of the young girl. Helen teaches Jane a new way to look at religion and exemplifies elegance in the face of hardships. When she dies, it burdens Jane with carrying on Helen’s legacy, but also teaches her valuable lessons about her relationships with other people. When Jane meets Helen Burns, her entire view of religion is …show more content…

Before Jane comes to the Lowood School, she gets into an altercation with her cousin John that catalyzes her move to the institution. After finding Jane reading a book, John took it from her. He proceeded to “hurl it” at Jane, who tried to move out of the line of fire, however “it hit [her], and [she] fell, striking [her] head against the door and cutting it” (Bronte #). John’s torment towards Jane was constant. She describes it, saying “He bullied and punished me; not two or three times in the week, nor once or twice in the day, but continually: every nerve I had feared him, and every morsel of flesh in my bones shrank when he came near” (Bronte #). However, after the incident with the book, Jane retaliated, calling him a “wicked and cruel boy” and comparing him to a “murderer” and a “slavedriver” (Bronte #). Of course, Jane’s outburst is punished, but she has no control over her emotions when provoked. Helen Burns takes a completely different approach to counteracting the terrible situations she is in. At the Lowood School, she faces extreme criticism from Miss Scatcherd, a teacher there. Helen is constantly critiqued for her clothes being out of order, her posture, and her attitude, just to name a few. The first time Jane observes Helen being made a spectacle at the hands of Miss Scatcherd, she notices “she neither wept nor blushed: composed, though grave, she stood, the central mark of all eyes” and that “her sight seems turned in, gone down into her heart: she is looking at what she can remember, I believe; not at what is really present” (Bronte #). Once they become acquainted with one another, Helen says of Jane’s behavior “You think to much of the love of human beings; you are too impulsive, too vehement” (Bronte #). Helen does not value the love

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