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What is Jane's definition and view of goodness? What is Helen's definition and view of...

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puppylover | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 25, 2009 at 12:42 PM via web

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What is Jane's definition and view of goodness? What is Helen's definition and view of goodness?

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podunc | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted October 6, 2009 at 2:53 AM (Answer #1)

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In a conversation in Volume I, Chapter VI of the novel, Jane and Helen reveal their divergent world views. Jane seems to view justice and love as the two greatest goods--she holds to the "eye for an eye" doctrine in human dealings. She explains to Helen that "it is natural that I should love those who show me affection," but also believes that "when we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard."

Helen, on the other hand, holds a Christian world view based on the teachings of the New Testament. She tells Jane that they are commanded to "love their enemies" and to model their behavior after that of Christ. For Helen, obedience and submission constitute true goodness.

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