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Helen Burns; Lowood

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Meaghan Champney

on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of Helen Burns; Lowood

Jane Eyre Helen Burns: Lowood Jane and Helen as Dramatic Foils How does Helen
influence Jane? Throughout Jane's stay at Lowood, Helen becomes a positive influence on Jane. Helen sees the good in everyone, and everything. She teaches Jane how to act in school, and what is important in life. Helen and Jane's relationship is important to the novel because it develops Jane's character a great deal, since she is young and still learning.
Helen and Jane can be seen as dramatic foils. Both girls have a similar history and goals in life. However, Jane and Helen have extremely different personalities. Helen brings out Jane's character to the reader. Helen is more laid back and believes that everything happens for a reason. Jane's character is more passionate and outspoken. "She has been unkind to you, no doubt...but how minutely you remember all she has done and said to you...Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs" (Bronte 70-71). "Everybody Jane? Why, there are only eighty people who have heard you called so, and the world contains hundreds of millions" (Bronte 84). Helen in Relation to the Bible Helen puts a lot of focus on her religion and God's plan. She states that everything happens for a reason and that her actions are based on what God would want her to do. This is important for Jane's character because this is her first time being exposed to any kind of religious influence.
Helen's religion also helps to shape her character. Even in the face of death, Helen is still charismatic and unconcerned as to what lies ahead. It is unusaul for a girl of her age to be so calm and welcoming to the idea of death. This further supports the idea that Helen was a positive influence on Jane's character. "Read the New Testament, and observe what Christ says, and how He acts; make His word your rule, and His conduct your example" (Bronte 70). This quote shows Helen's devotion to the bible and how she suggests that Jane follow in her footsteps. Helen is persuasive about her religion when she influences Jane. "I am sure there is a future state' I believe God is good; I can resign my immortal part to Him without any misgivings. God is my father; God is my friend; I love Him; I believe he loves me" (Bronte 100). This quote supports the fact that Jane and Helen are dramatic foils. Helen has a personality that allows her to be more laid back and accepting of what happens. Jane has more of an assertive personality and believes that she has to fight for herself all the time. This quote exemplifies the difference in character traits of Jane and Helen. The impact that Helen has on Jane and the rest of her life can be seen through the idea that they are dramatic foils. In this quote, we can see that Jane tends to look at the smaller picture while Helen looks more at the bigger picture. This quote shows how strong, spiritually, Helen was in the face of death. It is important to have such a strong personality as her main influence during her stay at Lowood. Meaghan Champney
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