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Flashcards in JE: Religion Deck (4)
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1) “a pair of bushy brows…a bass voice”
2) “And what is hell?” … “A pit full of fire”
3) “Humility [is] cultivat[ed] at Lowood” vs “Oh dear papa, how quiet…silk gown before”


1) Big Bad Wolf
2) Catechism-like, restrictive and formulaic - William Wilsons’ “Child’s First Tales”
3) Hypocritical, while the girls at Lowood are plain, having each been silenced and stripped of individuality - they appear just like a mass of performative (for Brock.) religious modesty (“many voices…a congregation of girls…brown stuff frocks”).
- Performative Brocklehurst, show of religious moral sensibility: “you must shun her example” … “this girl is - a liar!”:
-> Overindulgence in his power - an ability to
manipulate language, playing on religious sensibility,
in order to show power and carry out a highly
rehearsed othering of Jane.

BUT! Jane doesn’t shy away from this fear-inducing method of religious doctrine - the fact that she stands on the “rug, where Mr Brocklehurst had stood” is almost confrontational in nature.
- Strong sense of her self and worth, even in youth.


- “This was a demonic laugh”
- “Something gurgled and moaned”

  • Animalistic, “monster”
  • Antichrist, devilish
  • Gothic -> devilish due to madness, mad due to the women’s gothic? -> WSS explores.

Lowood and Helen:
1) “I dimly discerned a wall before me”
2) “no candle…uncertain light…” /
3) “We feasted that evening as on nectar…”


1) Lowood as an even more oppressive, restrictive world than Gateshead (which even had “Gate” in the name to show Jane’s confinement!) -> significant therefore that it represent religious thought:
- The confining, formulaic nature of Catholic religious doctrines - to freedom to form, as Bronte though important, a personal relationship with God?
2) Jane’s loneliness/lack of a community before (NO GUIDANCE) / which she then finds in this oppressive setting - sense of bonding/forming a collective.
- “feasted” -> like Disciples, suggesting the two intelligent female role models in Helen and Miss Temple represent a pure, true form of Christianity?
- “nectar” -> like a hive of bees, suggesting a sense of community/forming of a collective identity (BILDUNGSROMAN).


Rochester, Love, Religion:
1) “I waded knee-deep in its dark growth”

St. John:
2) “[He] had not yet found that peace in God”

! - “I could not, in those days, see God for His creature: of whom I had made an idol”
-> Her temptation, BUT! Now she has done right by
God, but not by herself - must strike a balance, and
find her own personal relationship with religion and


1) Her own dramatic Exodus, away from Roch, the idolisation of whom had rendered her unable to even pray, and back towards religion in St. John*.
-> A sense of protection despite this - God? Benevolent/doesn’t forget Jane, despite everything? Would explain the highly coincidental nature of the following events?
- “I looked at the sky; it was pure: a kindly star
2) *… represents an embodiment/personification of Evangelical Christianity.
-> YET! Jane is disappointed by his sermon (there is
nothing of what was actually said) - writes with “an
inexpressible sadness” about the references to “a
strange bitterness” and “points [which] sounded like a
sentence pronounced for doom”.
-> Not the personal religion she is searching for? St.
John trapped in Ev.Ch. role? (QUOTE)