Religion in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
In Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte intertwines various religious ideas in her mid-nineteenth century English setting. Throughout the novel, Jane Eyre blends various religious insights which she has learned from different sources. While Jane was young, she had only a Biblical textbook outlook on life combined with the miserable emotional conditions of her surroundings. This in turn led to Jane being quite mean with Mrs. Reed. When Jane eventually goes off to Lowood and meets Helen Burns, she learns of her religious philosophy far more than the words would mean. Over the course of many years Jane then applies the basis of Helen's religious philosophy and adjusts it for herself in relation to the main characters and main events including Mrs. Reed and Mr. Rochester. Through these characters Jane expands her understanding of life and of herself.
The child Jane reveals a deep hatred towards Mrs. Reed when she says wickedly, "I am not deceitful: If I were, I should say I loved you; but I decline I do not love you." Jane's hate towards Mrs. Reed continues on later, just as Jane was about to leave Gateshead for Lowood. When Bessie asked Jane, "'Will you go in and bid misses good-bye?'" Jane quickly reinforces her hate towards Mrs. Reed by immediately saying, "'Bessie: your misses has not been my friend: she has been my foe." Jane shows her disdain towards Mrs. Reed without hesitation because she is young. Also, we can infer that Jane has not, until now, received a strict religious upbringing at Gateshead -- perhaps this can explain how Jane is able to express her hatred so freely and vocally.
However, it is revealed later that Jane does know the Bible quite well when Mr. Brocklehurst comes in and says: 'Do you read your Bible?' *Jane* 'Sometimes.' *Brock.* 'With pleasure? Are you fond of it?' *Jane* 'I like Revelations, and the Book of Daniel, and Genesis, and Samuel, and a little bit of Exodus, and some parts of Kings and Chronicles, and Job and Jonah.' We can infer though that at this point Jane only knows the words of the Bible, not necessarily their full meaning.
Helen Burns is probably the turning point of life for Jane, although we don't see it happening...