Jane Eyre- Response to Lit

Madison Kilgore
Jane Eyre: Then and Now

The book Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte tells the story of a girl, Jane, her life, and the struggles and changes she goes through to become the woman she is now.   Once Jane is sent to school at Lowood she meets a friend, Helen Burns, who teaches Jane many important life lessons on faith, love, and most importantly Jane’s treatment of her Aunt Reed, the woman who raised her and the subject of all her hatred. The influence of Helen changes Jane, especially in her treatment of Mrs. Reed because Helen teaches Jane forgiveness and respect.
Through Helen, Jane learns forgiveness; Most importantly in regards to her aunt, Mrs. Reed whom she once despised. “I am glad you are no relation of mine. I will never call you aunt again as long as I live,” (34). In this outburst of emotion from Jane at age 10, she swears never to call Mrs. Reed “aunt” again. She tells Mrs. Reed this after years of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment from the Reed family. This makes you consider whether or not Jane will actually keep this promise to herself, or will she forgive her aunt for all of her wrongdoings. After being sent to school, Helen teaches Jane forgiveness, and to “love your enemies.” Keeping this in mind, Jane returns to Gateshead years later. “It is I, Aunt Reed,” (254), is what Jane tells her dying Aunt at their reunion after 10 years of separation. Though she swore not to call her “aunt” again, Jane forgives Mrs. Reed’s actions and regrets some of her own as a child. Helen teaches Jane forgiveness toward her aunt as well as respect.
Jane learns the importance of respect to her Aunt Reed. “People think you a good woman, but you are bad, hard hearted. You are deceitful!” (33). Jane lashes out at Mrs. Reed calling her “deceitful” due to the fact Mrs. Reed tells Mr. Brocklehurst that Jane is a liar and is deceitful. She was being completely disrespectful toward Mrs. Reed. Though she had good reason to be angry, Jane should have...