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Differences and Similarities Between Jane Eyre, Helen Burns, and Mr. Brocklehurst - Essay Example

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Charlotte Bronte’s book Jane Eyre provides a quick glimpse into the lives and attitudes of Victorian era society by following the story of a young girl as she grows up and seeks an acceptable lifestyle for herself. For Jane, this acceptable lifestyle includes living in an…
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Differences and Similarities Between Jane Eyre, Helen Burns, and Mr. Brocklehurst
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Download file to see previous pages Although all three characters share similar attitudes of their times regarding social priorities and personal concerns, they also have very unique perspectives on their individual role within this society and their expectations.
Growing up in an unloving home, an orphan living in her aunt’s house and suffering cruel treatment from this aunt as well as her cousin, Jane knows what an unjust world she lives in and recognizes it as such. She is unable to keep quiet when the apothecary questions her about her melancholy spirit following the red room incident which eventually leads to her being sent to school. Throughout this early part of the book, she is shown to be a very thoughtful child, often thinking about the people around her and the ways of the world. In this respect, she is very much like her future friend Helen Burns. Like Helen, Jane does her best to control her emotions and her behavior to meet the expectations of her benefactors, but the injustice of the situations in which she finds herself often overwhelm her sense of decency. Unlike Helen, Jane’s passions often get the best of her. By the time she arrives at her new school, Jane has already developed her own philosophy on how to relate to other people she encounters in life: “If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way:  they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse.  When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard” (Ch. 6). Jane continues to question everything she is told to believe, indicating her own level of intelligence. Her understanding of God, shaped early by the hypocritical teachings of the adults around her, is characterized by this same deep questioning and analysis. This contrasts sharply with the opinions of her friend, Helen.
Helen Burns becomes someone Jane can finally call a friend, despite their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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