In Jane Eyre, what is Helen Burns' religious attitude like?

Expert Answers info

harvardsquare eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write87 answers

starTop subject is Literature

From the beginning of Jane Eyre's relationship with Helen Burns, Jane is struck by Helen's seeming detachment from her immediate circumstances. This detachment is associated with her particular mode of religiosity, which stresses patient endurance of worldly suffering in the service of a focus upon heaven and the example of Jesus Christ. Early in her career at Lowood School, Jane encounters Helen standing apart from the other girls for the purpose of undergoing punishment. In this context, she reflects of Helen as follows:

She looks as if she were thinking of something beyond her punishment—beyond her situation: of something not round her nor before her. I have heard of day-dreams—is she in a day-dream now? Her eyes are fixed on the floor, but I am sure they do not see it—her sight seems turned in, gone down into her heart:

The language in the preceding passage shifts from describing Helen's detached perspective in terms of some place "beyond" her immediate surroundings to describing...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 624 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Brayan Effertz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write892 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial