Jane Eyre

Bronte's Criticism of Religion in Jane Eyre 12th Grade

During the Victorian Era, the status of religion was one of the most pressing social and moral issues. Though Charlotte Bronte grew up in a religious household, she, like many other authors, criticized certain aspects of religion even though, like the protagonist of her novel Jane Eyre, she principally remained a religious, spiritual person throughout her life. Throughout Jane Eyre, Bronte successfully conveys to the readers her religious beliefs, as well as criticisms of some of the injustices and frauds she perceived within the church.

In her novel, Bronte uses the subtlety of characterization to heighten and emphasize her dissatisfaction with the Church of England. One of Jane’s earliest encounters with religious hypocrites is her meeting with Mr. Brocklehurst, the wealthy and influential owner of Lowood. He insists that “humility is a Christian grace”, yet he and his family members are adorned luxuriously and fashionably, “splendidly attired in velvet, silk, and furs”. Upon closer inspection of this particular passage, we can see that it is precisely Bronte’s use of subtlety, the innocent yet questioning observations of Jane, that wholly bring to light Bronte’s dissatisfaction with such men. Meanwhile, Brocklehurst’s tirade...

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