Christianity in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre Essay

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Christianity in Jane Eyre

Charlotte Bronte addresses the theme of Christianity in the novel Jane Eyre. Bronte states: "Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last" (35). In Jane Eyre, Bronte supports the theme that customary actions are not always moral through the conventional personalities of Mrs. Reed, Mr. Brocklehurst, and St. John Rivers.

The issue of class is prevalent in the novel. The novel begins in Gateshead Hall when Jane must seat herself away from her aunt and cousins because she does not know how to speak pleasantly to them. She proceeds to seat herself in the breakfast room where she reads a book titled The History Of
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Jane knows that she has nothing in common with her family at Gateshead. "I was a discord at Gateshead Hall; I was like nobody there" ( 47).

She receives no love or approval from her family. The only form of love that she does have is the doll she pathetically clings to at night when she sleeps. Mrs. Reed is an evil and conventional woman who believes that her class standing sets her to be superior, and therefore better than a member of her own family. As a result of Jane's tantrums, quick temper, and lack of self-control, society classifies her as an immoral person. She is not moral because she does not act like a proper refined young woman. She speaks up for her herself when she knows she is not supposed to, and her family believes that she acts more like a "rebel" than a young woman. Her spontaneous and violent actions go against conventionality and she must suffer as a result of her rebellion. Miss Abbot believes: "God will punish her: He might strike her in the midst of her tantrums" ( 45). Jane's tantrums are not customary or acceptable, so during those precise moments of her tantrums, she is especially susceptible to God's punishment. Miss Abbot constantly reminds Jane that she is wicked, she needs to repent, and she is especially dependent on prayer. The Reed children, in contrast, are treated completely opposite. Although John Reed is cruel and vicious to Jane, he receives
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