A review by Elizabeth Rigby,says"Jane Eyre is pre-eminently an anti-CHristian composition"is this true?Is there any part that is christian

1 Answer | Add Yours

jilllessa's profile pic

jilllessa | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

I do not agree with Rigby's assertion that Jane Eyre is an "anti-Christian" composition.  I would say that it is rather an anti-church composition. Bronte is disgusted with Christians who do reflect true Christian values.  For example, Brocklehurst, who runs the Lowood institute is hypocritical:  he claims generosity but is really parsimonious,  perverting words of the Bible for his own purposes.  St. John Rivers claims spirituality, and wants to be a missionary but he is very cold and one wonders if he wants to be a missionary to help people and bring them God's Word, or if he wants to go for his own self image and the pride that can be associated with martyrdom. 

Helen Burns, however, does show true Christian virtue and is a complete contrast to most of the other characters.  She is loving, patient, longsuffering, and kind.  She embodies the biblical "fruits of the spirit" found in Galations 5:22-23.  She is a true Christian in Bronte's eyes.  Even Rochester, who is a sinner wanting to involve her in a bigamous marriage, shows more Christian virtue than many other characters.  He is kind, longsuffering, and moved by character rather than riches.  At the end of the novel, he "thanks God" for Jane's return and I think a Christian metaphor can be seen in that he who was made blind, was able to once again see.

We’ve answered 319,187 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question