It appears that Jane has had a strong belief in God, but sheseems to have a more wholesome and wholehearted beliefthan some other characters in the novel.
In the beginning ofthe novel young Jane is painfully rejected by her aunt, aswell as her son and daughter.She is unable to alter the dailypattern of abuse and neglect. This makes it obvious that shedid not live as a member of a truly Christian family, but shewas mature enough to develop her own beliefs throughdaily prayers and biblical readings.Further in the story, she meets Mr. Brocklehurst for thefirst time and interviews Jane about sin, hell and the Bible.At one point in the conversation he asks her if she knowsany psalms, she replies that “Psalms are not interesting(Bronte,490).
This proves to Mr. Brocklehurst that she hasa wicked heart, and must pray to God to change it and giveher a new and clean one. Why must Mr. Brocklehurst beso harsh with such a young child? Would a truely Christianman ever be so quick to condemn someone he doesntknow anything about?Eventually Jane moves to Lowood Institution, an old,drafty, dreary place.
It is there that Jane comes to realizethat although Mr. Brocklehurst was able to put on a goodshow at Gateshead Hall about his religious beliefs, he islacking in basic human necessities. The meals that wereserved were meager portions; during some occasions itwas burned.
Her knowledge of the shortcomings atLowood were supported when she over heard the teacherswhisper “Abominable stuff! How Shameful!”(Bronte,499).This situation along with the dreadfully cold sleepingquarters show that Mr. Brocklehurst althoughknowledgeable in biblical psalms and parables had noconcern with the conditions these children lived in. Also,when Jane accidentally breaks her slate he punishes her bymaking her stand on a high stool as punishment. From thispoint onward in the novel, it is clear that Mr. Brocklehurstsymbolizes hypocrisy and insensitivity. In particular, Mr.
Brocklehurst was complaining aboutholes in stockings and expounding the virtues of a goodChristian, he is interrupted by his fashionably dressed wifeand two daughters. Their ostrich plumes, beaver hats andfalse French curls contrast with the cold, underdressedchildren huddling over a fire to keep warm. Obviously mostof the donated money is used to spoil his family, and notbeing used for what it was given for.
Is this the behavior ofa true Christian? Jane doesnt not think so, but she is smartenough to disregard things she can not change and is ableto find a few role models that influence her development.Janes relationship with Helen Burns seems to strengthenher belief in God. Helen tells Jane that she is happy, andthat she doesnt want Jane to grieve her death.
By dyingshe is escaping great sufferings, and that she has strong faithin God. Helen also tells Jane about her beliefs in heaven.She says, “I am sure there is a future state; I believe God isgod; I can resign my immortal part to him without anymisgivings. God is my father; God is my friend: I love him; Ibelieve he loves me”(525). After Helen tells her this shefeels dearer to her, the reader can feel an emotional bondbetween the two girls and the sense of a developing ofstrong faith. Eventually, Jane meets a man named St.
John Rivers whotakes her in as a poor, helpless woman. Later they feel anattraction toward each other that must be avoided becausethey learn that they are distant relations. She notices that St.John is a good-hearted, caring man with strong faith inGod. She appreciates those qualities and almost falls inlove with him. St. John asks her to join him on a religiousmission in India.
Think that she was not a woman with amind of her own he tries to convince her by saying “Godand Nature intended you for a missionarys wife… Amissionarys wife you must-shall be.
You shall be mine: Iclaim you-nor for my pleasure, but for my Sovereignsservice”.(749)She almost accepts but comes to realize that he wants herto be his wife not his companion to spread the word ofGod. She feels a brotherly bond with St.John which wouldmake marrying him a seem an incestuous activity whichmaybe a condemnatory offense in the eyes of God whomshe does not want to offend.
Also she begins to realize thathis religious missions are not done from the heart, he feels itis his job. She is confused that a self- proclaimed man ofGod could overlook such a situation.Jane makes it clearthat she does not want to be a part of his proposal.After comparing these two characters the reader can seethat there are major differences in their belief or beliefs inGod. Both Mr.
Brocklehurst and St.John Rivers have avery narrow-minded view of God. They believe thatmemorization and recitation of psalms and Scripturereadings will get you to heaven, but they dont realize thathuman neglect is looked down upon by God. While Janeon the other hand has a more worldly, open-minded viewof God. That not only must a person be knowledgeable ofwhat He has done and what He expects of us, but that wemust care for each other as we care for ourselves. Janebelieves that God accepts people by what is in their heartHe will not be fooled by the masks or religious fronts thatpeople wear and build.
Also, note that she does not hate them because of theirhypocritical ways she hopes that their eyes open to whatthey are doing, and chooses not to get to involved. Jane isa very intelligent woman, and though she has had a hard lifeshe still knows to lead with her mind and love with herheart.She exemplifies a true christian.Religion