The Role of Faith in Jane Eyre
In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte's inspirational novel, religion is embraced through a series of spiritual explorations. Bronte portrays Jane's character and zest for religion by revealing Jane's transitions from Gateshead to Lowood, Lowood to Thornfield, and Thornfield to Moor House. Each location plays a significant role in the development of Jane's perspective on religion. Jane struggles to acquire true faith in God, which will help her overcome the obstacles of her itinerant life.
Jane's first encounter with religion was with Helen Burns, her only friend at Lowood. Before her arrival at Lowood, Jane lived uncomfortably with her malevolent Aunt Reed who constantly rebuked and abused her. Jane searched for comfort and security by virtue of her own strong will, without the faith of God. She was left lonely and confused. Helen welcomed Jane into the strict, religious school of Lowood. However, Lowood was not the answer to Jane's prayers, but rather an unsuspecting, ill child. Helen proclaimed God's will and his command to "love your enemies; bless them that curse you ...." (Bronte 50) Jane thoughtfully analyzed this command but did not comprehend the meaning intended. Helen explained, "Life appears to me too short to be spent nursing animosity, or registering wrongs." (Bronte 50) Jane gradually discovers the importance of accepting faults in the world, and rejoices in the knowledge of God. The guidance and assurance that faith always provides enabled Jane to endure the severe times at Lowood School. Although Jane questioned the existence of God's heavenly kingdom, she undoubtedly believed she would be reunited with Helen in God's love after death. Without her faith in God, Jane would not have survived the harsh reality of Helen's death and her life at Lowood.
After Miss Temple left Lowood, Jane realized she needed to resign her position at Lowood and explore new possibilities of employment. Jane accepted a job as a governess at Thornfield, a manor six miles from Lowood. Immediately, Jane falls into a smooth career of instructing a young girl, Adele. As time passes, however, the growing affection between Mr. Rochester,...