Jane 's First Friend By Helen Burns Essay

Jane 's First Friend By Helen Burns Essay

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While at Lowood, a state - run orphanage and educational facility, Jane’s first friend, Helen Burns, teaches her the importance of friendship along with other skills that will help Jane grow and emotionally mature in the future. She serves as a role model for Jane. Helen’s intelligence, commitment to her studies, and social graces all lead Jane to discover desirable attributes in Helen. Helen is treated quite poorly, however, “her ability to remain graceful and calm even in the face of (what Jane believes to be) unwarranted punishment makes the greatest impression on the younger girl” (Dunnington). Brontë uses this character as a way to exemplify the type of love that Jane deserves. This relationship allows Jane to understand the importance of having a true friend. Given Jane’s history at Gateshead, finding someone like Helen is monumental in her development as a person. Helen gives through honest friendship, a love that is devastatingly absent through most of Jane’s young life. When Jane is shunned by Mr. Brocklehurst in front of the entire Lowood population, Helen is the one person that does not immediately judge Jane. In fact, she makes her feel more comfortable in a place that is filled with punishment and hypocrisy. Though Lowood does not truly feel like home, Helen is able to provide Jane with not only all the compassion she needs as well as support and respect. This is one of the first loves Jane experiences on her journey and it allows her to become more open to the love she finds in her future endeavors.
Edward Rochester, the owner of the Thornfield estate and the later romantic interest of Jane, also has dynamic emotional relationships throughout this Bildungsroman novel. Rochester, a powerful but unusual man, uses hi...


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... love in his classic, The Picture of Dorian Gray. He uses a portrait to convey a multi-faceted theme of love. The painting of Dorian Gray becomes the symbol of homosexual love, egotistical love and most impactful, destructive love. Both novels raise the question as to the role of love in one’s life. As a juxtaposition, the novel Pride and Prejudice, also written in the 18th century, further develops love and its’ role in personal development. Understanding the power of this emotion results in various outcomes in the narrative. The Victorian literature of the eighteenth century highlights the importance of mutual love with the characters ultimately choosing their partners. This holds true in both bourgeois and peasant classes. The underlying premise is a life, regardless of class or gender, deserves meaningful love that takes time and effort but ultimately perseveres.

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