Jane Eyre consists of several themes which all play a part in the novel, with religion being a major theme. The Christianity religion, more specifically, is one of the main themes. In this research paper I would like to examine the relationship between Jane Eyre and the Christianity religion. I also want to look at how Christianity plays its role in the novel. There are a few different types of Christianity represented by four characters in the novel; Mr. Brocklehurst, Helen, St. John, and the Jane herself. I want to look at how Jane’s religious beliefs evolved from the beginning of the novel until the end. I also want explore more into the religion of Christianity, and compare it with the other three characters already stated. One can view the different types of Christianity through these characters, and what it may sometimes look like. I would like to end the paper with answering the question, is Jane Eyre a Christian or just a spiritual person, and what research led me to this conclusion.
Christianity is one of the most popular religions practiced in the world, with over a billion people practicing it today. However, there are several different types of Christianity, yet they all have the same basic beliefs. Christians believe in God, and that Jesus is his one and only son. Jesus is the Messiah that was promised in the Old Testament. They believe that God sent his Son to earth to save His people from their sins. Jesus did that by dying on a cross and giving up his life, which is referred to as the Crucifixion. Christians believe that Jesus rose on the third day after his death, which is called the Resurrection. There is only on God, but there is three parts of God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Christians are taught from the Holy Bible, which usually contains the old and new testaments. The number of books varies, depending on the branch of Christianity. Easter, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ are considered sacred days in the Christian religion.
The first character that I would like to observe is Mr. Brocklehurst. Brocklehurst can be considered to be a “hypocritical Calvinist” (Franklin, p. 463). One could simply view him as a hypocrite. Brocklehurst runs a school for girls, in which he subjects them to the upmost humility, and uses shaming and bullying as a way to keep them in line. His reasoning for all of this relates back to his “faith.” Yet while he makes these girls live in such a way, he lives lavishly, and does the very opposite of what he preaches and what his religion teaches. Elisabeth Jay states in an article that Brocklehurst is a “repressive sanctimoniousness, entirely at odds with the service of a God of Love,” and that what is most immediately egregious about Brocklehurst is that he see accountability not…as emanating from self-examination but in terms of regulating the lives of others” (Faith and Doubt, p.19).