Helen Burns Essay

Jane Eyre: Helen Burns Character Analysis

In Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Jane encounters several characters during the stages of her life. Some of the characters appear in more than one stage of her life such as Mrs Reed, Bessie, and Rochester. There are other characters who are only there for her for a short period of time such as St John, Miss Temple, and Helen Burns. Although these characters are only in Jane’s life for a short time, they each have a great impact on Jane, especially Jane’s encounter with Helen at the Lowood Institution. Helen Burns makes a grave impact on Jane’s life, at Lowood and continuing on for the rest of her life.
Helen strives to live a Christian lifestyle despite the difficulties in her life. She is continually punished by her teacher, Miss Scatcherd. Helen is publicly insulted by her “Burns, you poke your chin most unpleasantly; draw it in” (Brontë 64) she continues to critique everything Helen does, from the way she stands to how she holds her head. Helen is physically punished for not washing properly when the water was frozen that morning. Helen continues to exemplify a Christian moral by taking the punishment without oppose or question, she has a “respectful courtesy” (Brontë 65) throughout her torture. “The teacher instantly and sharply inflicted on her neck a dozen strokes with the bunch of twigs” (Brontë 65). Helen stays strong and did not shed a tear. When Jane questions Helen on her dislike for Miss Scatcherd she replies with a humble remark “It is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself, than to commit a hasty action whose evil consequences will extend to all connected with you; and, besides the Bible bids us return good for evil” (Brontë 66). Helen even goes to the extent to blame herself for the punishments she receives from Miss Scatcherd, “I am, as Miss Scatcherd said, slatternly; I seldom put, and never keep, things in order; I am careless; I forget rules; I read when I should learn my lessons” (Brontë 67). The meekness and humility Helen displays are some of her several Christian attributes. Helen teaches...

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The Significance of Jane Eyre's Relationship With Helen Burns

3273 Words14 Pages

The Significance of Jane Eyre's Relationship With Helen Burns

Jane Eyre is a classical novel written in 1947 by Charlotte Bronte, who at the time was also known as "Currer Bell". This timeless piece is based on the life of an orphaned girl named Jane Eyre who begins her life under the care of an Aunt, Mrs. Reed. Both Jane's parents have died within only a year of her birth leaving Mrs. Reed with the responsibility of Jane's well being. However, Mrs. Reeds treatment towards Jane is purely absurd and only provides the child with the bare necessities of life, such as food, clothes and shelter.

Her Aunt as well as her only cousins resent Jane. She is an outcast, but nevertheless at only the age of…show more content…

She dies of consumption and Jane is left alone with Helen dead in her arms.

The importance of friendship is considered a significant element throughout this noel. Soon after Jane Eyre joined Lowood, she meets Helen Burns, She was the only person who was consistently nice to Jane. Ever since the first night when Helen provided Jane with food, Jane realized that Helen was a kind-hearted and noble person and decided therefore that Helen was her first and best friend.

In contrast to Helen's personality, Jane has the total opposite approach to life. She is short tempered and will say what she thinks despite the circumstances. She is sincere, straightforward and does not fear to articulate her point of view however fallacious it may be.

One factor of "Jane Eye" which interests the reader is the relationship between Jane, her Aunt and her cousins, compared to Jane's relationship with Helen. Despite the blood relation between Jane and her aunt and cousins, they treat Jane with sincere disrespect and animosity.

"Then Mrs. Reed subjoined: 'Take her away to the red-room, and lock her in there'. Four hands were immediately laid upon me, and I was borne upstairs".

Jane's Aunt is a selfish woman and despite knowing the fact that Jane has no other relative, she still lacks any sympathetic feeling towards her. Jane

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