Portrayal of Helen Burns from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte , a Victorian Novel. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte , was published in 1847, and is a bildungsroman, following the life of the supporter Jane. The novel has autobiographical elements, colourising some of its characters, and Helen Burns is one such portraiture. Based on Charlotte ‘s older sister Maria, who died of TB in 1825, Helen Burns is a minor character, whose positions of faith and inactive attitude offer her as a foil both to the supporter and to the other minor characters involved. Helen Burns is a level inactive but intelligent character in shocking fortunes with steadfast religion and dogged goodness, and is non a really realistic portraiture. Helen with her kindhearted and forgiving vision of the universe that is divergent from Jane ‘s, helps convey into position the character of the instructors of Lowood Institution. Her face lights up at the reference of Miss Temple, and despite enlisting her ain mistakes of sloppiness, she warns Jane against Miss Scatcherd reding her to “ take attention non to pique her ” . ( Ch.5 ) While Jane is passionate and rebellious ; Helen exposes Miss Scatcherd ‘s motiveless inhuman treatment for the readers.
The “ sound of a hollow cough ” ( Ch.5 ) precedes Helen ‘s debut. This “ cough ” therefore was really stating to the Victorian reader, since “ ingestion ” or TB was a common and fatal Victorian complaint. In add-on to the prefiguration of her decease, we are besides immediately shown in our first debut to Helen that she has a crisp head as she is reading Johnson ‘s Rasselas. Helen is the first friend of Jane and she has a crisp and acute head, overruning with cognition. When the misss are given a “ lesson [ that ] had comprised portion of the reign of Charles I, and there were assorted inquiries about tunnage and poundage, and ship-money ” ( Ch.6 ) , it is merely Helen who manages to retain all the information and reply the inquiries. When Miss Temple has tea with Jane and Helen, Jane was amazed to hear them discoursing “ of things [ she ] had ne’er heard of ; of states and times past ; of states far awayaˆ¦so familiar with Gallic names and Gallic writers ” ( Ch.8 ) , and amazed to see Helen reading Virgil that Jane was more in awe of her “ at every sounding line ” ( Ch.8 ) Acerate leaf to state Helen is intelligent, and the response to that aptitude is utmost emotional maltreatment at the custodies of Miss Scatcherd.
Helen is a beacon of devotedness, and a reservoir of positive thought, despite her illness, famishment, and despite being singled out as an object for Miss Scatcherd ‘s inhuman treatment and whippings. Infact she embraces these whippings like a sufferer. This quality makes her unrealistic, but she is besides a foil to Jane, whose point of view is at the other terminal of the spectrum from Helen ‘s positions. While Jane proclaims that Helen maintains that if she “ were in [ Helen ‘s ] topographic point [ Jane ] should dislike [ Miss Scatcherd ] ; … If she struck me with that rod, I should acquire it from her manus ; I should interrupt it under her olfactory organ. ” ( Ch.6 ) Helen nevertheless, believed in the “ New Testament ” and held the position “ Love your enemies ; bless them that expletive you ; make good to them that hatred you and despitefully utilize you. ” ( Ch.6 ) While Jane believes in contending back “ When we are struck at without a ground, we should strike back once more really difficult ” ( Ch.6 ) , Helen holds firm to the belief, “ the Bible commands us return good for immorality ” ( Ch. 6 ) . Helen is indispensable to the secret plan as she is the moral instructor for Jane. She resignedly tells her “ You will alter your head I hopeaˆ¦you are but a small unschooled miss ” . ( Ch.6 ) Interestingly, her position on Christianity is really Victorian since missionaries were seeking to change over Heathens in the settlements that England imperialized as she explains to Jane that contending back is incorrect and “ Heathens and barbarian folks hold that philosophy, but Christians and civilised states disown it. ” Helen is indispensable to the secret plan as a foil to Mrs. Reed, and to the hypocritical Mr. Brocklehurst, whose lone purpose is to function his ain demands. Helen is besides a foil to Eliza who is self righteous, and spiritual to a point of fanatism. Helen is besides what Jane must draw a bead on to.
Helen is a loyal monster and makes Jane ‘s clip in Lowood Bearable. She tries to free Jane of her wretchedness by leting her katharsis as she gives Jane a patient hearing about Mrs. Reed ‘s unfairnesss and so tells her “ Life appears to me excessively short to be spent in nursing animus or registering wrongs. ” ( Ch.6 ) When Jane is wrongly accused and punished, it is Helen who goes out to blink “ a smiling! … of true courageaˆ¦the facet of an angel ” . ( Ch.7 ) Helen besides teaches her Jane realizes that she “ was no Helen Burns ” . ( Ch.8 ) , but aspires to be as her friend, as the old ages advancement. It is likely Helen ‘s influence that Jane follows her ain moral compass while covering with Mr. Rochester and declining to be his kept woman. Jane had been admonished by her friend for believing “ excessively much of the love of human existences ” , and for being “ A excessively unprompted, excessively fierce ” . ( Ch.8 ) Helen had promised her “ If all the universe hated you, and believed you wicked, while your ain scruples approved you, and absolved you from guilt, you would non be without friends. ” ( Ch.8 )
Helen is besides indispensable since her decease can be contrasted with Jane ‘s experience of being locked in Mr. Reed ‘s room, as she was afraid of his “ shade he died in that room and it was cruel to close me up alone. ” ( Ch.3 ) . By contrast, Jane seeks out Helen when she realizes that Helen may decease, “ I could non kip boulder clay I had spoken to you. ” ( Ch.9 ) Far from Jane soothing Helen, it is Helen who comforts her and says “ I have faith ; I am traveling to God ” . ( Ch.9 ) . Helen has the consciousness that she is non cut out for the universe and that “ By deceasing immature I shall get away great agonies. ” ( Ch.9 ) Helen ‘s decease is besides a contrast to Mrs. Reed ‘s acrimonious decease. Helen comforts Jane one last clip and they hug and sleep in the same bed. This decease is a crisp contrast to passing a dark in Mr. Reed ‘s room, as Miss Temple, found the two misss “ at dawnaˆ¦in the small cribaˆ¦ [ Jane ] was asleep and Helen was-dead. ” ( Ch.9 )
Helen Burns the fourteen-year-old miss is a level character since her character can be summed up as being a sufferer and yet has an firm stubborn religion, and being a loyal friend. She could hold evolved if her function was non so short, but she was indispensible to the text as a foil to other characters and as a wise man to Jane.