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Word Count: 605
During Charlotte Brontes novel Jane Eyre the protagonist struggles at a young age with the meaning of life conformity justice and death Throughout each phase of this learning experience Jane is confronted with Religion and differing Christian beliefs that pervailed at the time the novel was written in 1847 In particular Bronte uses various characters to personify religion in her time Early readers saw Bronte as attacking the Church Janes experiences at the Lowood School serve to enlighten todays reader of the novels attitude toward religion During Janes short ten-year existence many characters greatly influence her searching enquiry into the meaning of life Bronte often juxtaposes Jane with characters that espouse strikingly different beliefs Where Jane is seen as searching and questioning these other characters hold strongly to one form or another of Evangelical Protestantism Jane takes strength from one character in particular whose stoic belief in God prevails over injustice and her own death Helen Burns is an inspiration for Jane as she overcomes the injustices and humiliation resultant from her elders that Jane is all too familiar with Helen bases her beliefs and actions on the philosophies of the Bible Love your enemies bless them that curse you do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you Helens optimism and faith is unwavering in the face of the oppression and ridicule that she endures and her own inevitable death Religion in the novel becomes a constant faade for abuse and Helens attitude is hard to fathom by Jane or the reader Mr Brocklehurst owner of Lowood is an imposing and formidable figure- a dictator and a coward who uses the virtuous title of Reverend to reap horror amongst young girls The children at Lowood are forced to starve in order to render them hardy patient and self denying74 Mr Brocklehurst declares Gods divine consolation If you suffer hunger or thirst for my sake happy are ye75 Due
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