5 October 2010
A Path to Salvation
“Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ”(Gal 2:16). In the novel Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte constructs young and independent Jane Eyre who finds love under strange circumstances and is faced with decisions concerning her own religious values and spirituality. Both St. John Rivers and Edward Rochester display two opposed views of how to achieve salvation. St. John believes he can find his way to heaven through good deeds while Rochester believes that salvation can be found through the marriage of a strong Christian woman. Both views, however, prove to be unsuccessful as both men later discover that salvation can only be found through an individual’s faith in God. Although Jane faces a decision concerning her own beliefs and those of a true Christian, Jane finds that she can achieve salvation and happiness through her unwavering faith in God and her spiritual autonomy. Edward Rochester believes that he can achieve salvation through Jane Eyre and her morals. For example when Rochester attempts to persuade Jane to stay with him he says, “I have found you. You are my sympathy – my better self – my good angel” (335). Rochester, being the dark, dishonest character he is, believes that Jane will save him for all of his wrong doings. He later finds Jane to be not only his intellectual equal but also a Christian companion and religious superior. Jane is Rochester’s “better self” in the sense that she compensates for all of his past and present faults. Rochester believes that someone like Jane, an independent women and moral Christian, can give him the guidance he needs to go to heaven. Rochester refers to Jane as his “good angel”, perhaps acknowledging the fact that Jane is Rochester’s savior. The difficulty with Rochester’s view on how to achieve salvation is that he cannot enter heaven simply because he is connected to...