How is religion presented in chapter 1-10 in Jane Eyre?

Topics: God, Jane Eyre, Religion Pages: 4 (1386 words) Published: November 18, 2013

How is religion presented in chapter 1-10 in Jane Eyre?

Religion is a prominent theme throughout Jane Eyre and within Bronte’s era. Within Jane Eyre, religion is presented as a device of oppression and a means of maintaining discipline amongst young girls of Jane’s class. We see religion as a dualistic feature. The work displays religion in two different lights; Mr Brocklehurst’s oppressive religious dominion which demands high understanding of rules and regulations, but also shows the softer more sentimental side of religion within Helen Burns, who views religion as an acceptance of fate. One of the major portrayals of religious presentation is within the Red Room in Chapter 2. The colour red not only suggests danger, but love and passion. This may refer to the passion of Christ. The Red Room provides both biblical imagery with the use of “tabernacle” and also an insight into how Religious faith and the intimidating portrayal of God was used as a punishing element towards young children. “Tabernacle” and “Pillar” are clear reference to Exodus where “all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door: and all the people stand up and worship”. Not only does this again support the idea of religious means of apparition, but also displays the religious impact in Bronte’s society. In the penultimate sentence in Chapter 1 “Take her away to the red-room, and lock her in there” it is evident that this room is a great form of punishment for the sins of Jane. The God which is presented in the Red Room is merciless and and stern, reminiscent of the Old Testament. This is displayed when Jane cries “Have mercy Aunt!” yet Mrs Reed does not show her kindness. This could also suggest that the presentation of religion differed between the child’s social situation due to the fact that even though John Reed was the initiator of the attack, Jane being the poor relation was the child who was...
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