Jane Eyre: Religious or Spiritual?
Jane Eyre follows the story of an orphan girl from childhood to adulthood
during which she overcame a great number of difficulties and stayed true to herself even
in the face of adversity. Jane did this by adhering to practicality and spirituality rather
than religious practices. She started off as a child questioning God and authority but with
the passage of time her belief in God became stronger and that in other worldly
authorities became weaker. Jane did not follow religion as a chore but as something in
which she had real interest. As her devotion to the spiritual aspect of the religion became
stronger she became more centered, confidant and mature. However, she did not believe
in imposing religion on anybody and therefore had a disregard for the clergy of the likes
of Mr. Broklehurst and St. John.
Even as a child of ten years of age, Jane had a clear concept about
punishment in religion and how to avoid it. When Mr. Broklehurst asked her about hell
she knew what it is and had an idea of evading that place. Thus, even at a young age she
believed more in herself than in religious doctrines and thought that by achieving the feat
of not dying based on her own strength, she could avoid hell. Jane had already read the
Bible and had chosen favorites among the chapters. However, it seems that she regarded
these chapters as interesting reads rather than objects of worship and veneration as is
expected from a young child who has been taught religion in a traditional way. Jane, thus
did not have faith in religion and God as a young child and in times of need she preferred
to rely on her own abilities rather than on Divine intervention.
When Jane came to Lowood, religion was used as a tool to silence the