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God/Religion in Jane Eyre. Latham Speasmaker Zehra Zaidi. Prompt Literal Meaning. Our prompt is to analyze the different ways people used religion in situations and how that contributed to the overall theme created. . Prompt Relation to Novel.

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god religion in jane eyre

God/Religion in Jane Eyre

Latham Speasmaker


prompt literal meaning
Prompt Literal Meaning

Our prompt is to analyze the different ways people used religion in situations and how that contributed to the overall theme created.

prompt relation to novel
Prompt Relation to Novel

The prompt relates to the novel because of the ways different people used religion. For example, Helen was a heavenly figure while Mr. Brocklehurst is more of a hypocrite and talks about Jane being a “wicked child” for not liking parts of the Bible. St. John (sin jin?) takes religion to a whole new level and acts like God’s slave.


“Of late, Jane, I began to see and acknowledge the hand of God in my doom. I began to experience remorse, repentance; the wish for reconcilement to my Maker. I began sometimes to pray: very brief prayers they were, but very sincere.”

This quote explains how Mr. Rochester felt after Jane left him. He spoke about how he felt remorse and repentance for his actions and asked for forgiveness from both God and Jane. The theme established here is forgiveness. This moment is a strongly significant because this is when Jane starts forgiving him for his mistakes and later marries him

“My spirit, “ I answered mentally, “ is willing to do what is right; and my flesh, I hope, is strong enough for me to accomplish the will of Heaven, when once that will is distinctly known to me. At any rate, it shall be strong enough to search—inquire—to grope an outlet from this cloud of doubt, and find the open day of certainty.”

Jane’s desire to withdraw from wrong doing shows her loyal side and establishes the theme of faith because she is faithful to her morals and right doing.

examples continued
Examples Continued…

“He stood there between me and every thought of religion, as an eclipse intervenes between man and the broad sun. I could not, in those days, see God for his creature of whom I had made and idol.” (Vol. II 274)

This is Jane speaking about her love for Rochester after he had proposed to her and before they were to be wed. As she describes her love for him as something that stops her from thinking about her religion and about how God is protecting her, as stated by Bessie, she begins idolizing Rochester as a false god for her own sake. Ironically, as Rochester is eventually revealed to be a false man in his hiding of Bertha, Jane soon comes to realize her mistake in this false god and her loss of faith, a recurring theme in Jane Eyre.
examples cont
Examples Cont.

This is St. John telling Jane that she is an infidel in her telling him that he does not love her, she will not submit to him, and ultimately that she will not marry him. St. John tries to use religion to make Jane change her mind on what she believes in, this practice of oppressively using peaceful, loving religions against others being a common theme of the novel as well as the Evangelistic way of life during Bronte’s life. This oppressive use of religion in order to test other people’s faiths is not too uncommon in the book, as shown by Brocklehurst’s way of forcing “humbleness” on the children of Lowood.

“Refuse to be my wife and you limit yourself forever to a track of selfish ease and barren obscurity” (Vol. III 409)

  • “Besides,” said Miss Abbot, “God will punish her: He might strike her dead in the midst of her tantrums, and then where would she go? Come, Bessie, we will leave her: I wouldn’t have her heart for anything. Say your prayers, Miss Eyre, when you are by yourself; for if you don’t repent, something bad might be permitted to come down the chimney and fetch you away.”
  • Mrs. Abbot is using God in a way to scare Jane Eyre into behaving good as a child.
  • “Read the New Testament, and observe what Christ says, and how He acts; make His word your rule, and His conduct your example.” “What does He say?” “Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you.” “Then I should love Mrs. Reed, which I cannot do; I should bless her son John, which is impossible.”
  • This conversation between Helen and Jane shows how religious Helen is and makes Helen a heavenly figure. Through such teachings, Jane later learns to be more patient.
  • At Thornfield, when Jane Eyre discovers Bertha’s existence, in her conflict of her passion for Rochester and feeling immoral in the possibility in being a mistress of Rochester while knowing that he still has a true wife living, she decides to leave Rochester behind and chooses her own morals over her passion over him. These morals came from her faith in God and in choosing it she understands the importance of God and Religion in her life in order to limit her passions in life.

At Moorshead, as Jane lives with her cousins: Diana, Mary, and St. John, she begins to be controlled by St. John by his religious beliefs as a tool for him to use and not even a person or a lover. He believes that, although he does not love her as a person, that he can develop this after they would be wed and become missionaries in India. St. John develops an opposing situation for Jane in how he tries to force her to choose her morals over any passions she might have. Jane eventually leaves St. John to find and marry Rochester, developing her own personal belief that there should be a balance of morals and of her own inherent passion, allowing her to stop immoral passions but to allow herself to grow in her earthly ambitions.

citations source information
Citations/Source Information
  • http://pmc-mag.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/RD_Jane-Eyre_PMcMullan_PMcMag_0411--675x450.jpg
  • http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1260/1260-h/1260-h.htm
  • http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/janeeyre/themes.html
  • http://25.media.tumblr.com/fc677938bb12a42e5f5a8fdcf256c90e/tumblr_mt37tetlzP1si3xwmo1_500.gif
  • http://bookishwhimsy.blogspot.com/2013/07/jane-eyre-review-in-gifs.html
  • http://gifsoup.com/view/1732516/jane-eyre-4.html
  • http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/34500000/Jane-Eyre-Fan-Art-jane-eyre-2011-34576334-500-200.gif
  • http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-c2LW7zBA-QY/UZsMkYX3h4I/AAAAAAAAC80/Xdc2wfGDNPo/s1600/barney+no.gif
  • http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lemxt2mApw1qzmd3ao1_500.gif
  • http://media2.giphy.com/media/l27POm8cLlwA0/giphy.gif
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