“I hardly know where I found the hardihood thus to open a conversation with a stranger. The step was contrary to my nature and habits; but I think her occupation touched a chord of sympathy somewhere, for I, too, liked reading, though of a frivolous and childish kind” (Page 59)
Jane and Helen bond over their love of literature. Jane’s curiosity allows her to form this true bond which she will have never had before. Statement indicative that Helen will mature Jane’s opinions and character and will be influential on her life.
“I expected she would show signs of great distress and shame; but to my surprise she neither wept nor blushed” (Page 61)
Helen Burns very religious and knows her position is society. Knows that if she is being reprimanded she either deserves it or God has intended it.
“‘Burns’ (such It seems was her name: the girls here were all called by their surnames, as boys are elsewhere” (Page 64)
Militant leading of the school. Helen reprimanded for faults which are not her own – seen to be the scapegoat of Lowood, alike Jane, hence bond. Burns reflects that she may have previously had passion like Jane that she has learnt to control. Scratcherd may be doing this to harden her character and prepare her for ostracisation in the world due to the patriarchal society.
“You dirty, disagreeable girl! You never cleaned you nails this morning!” (Page 64)
Miss Scratcherd (name indicative of temperament ) to Helen. Blamed for factors beyond her control (water was frozen). Helen is the scapegoat, resulting in Helen’s flogging. Not praised for her good attention.
“Not a tear rose to Burns’ eyes; and, while I paused from my sewing, because my fingers quivered at this spectacle with a sentiment of unavailing and impotent anger, not a feature of her pensive face altered its ordinary expression” (Page 65)
While Jane is passionate and would react, Helen remains calm and placid and restrains her passion. Role model for Jane. She accepts it because she believes this is what God intended and knows that life will be hard as a lower-class woman.
“I was sent to Lowood to get an education and it would be of no use going away until I have attained that object” (Page 66)
Helen knows that this is her one opportunity at an education and will not reject it as the accomplishments that she will gain will offer her economical freedom in the patriarchal and hierarchical Victorian society.
“It is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself, than to commit a hasty action whose evil consequences will extend to all connected with you; and, besides, the Bible bids us return good for evil” (Page 66)
Helen teaches Jane lessons of temperance which she carries with her throughout life. Religion extremely influential on Helen’s life. Dedicates her life to God and lives by the lessons of the Bible.
“Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you” (Page 69)
Helen teaches Jane the work of the Bible which she follows to lead her life. She teaches of forgiveness and a pure life where goodness reigns true. Influential to Jane’s adult life as she learns to forgive both Rochester and Mrs Reed.
“I live in the calm, looking at the end” (Page 70)
The influence of religion on her life. Believes purpose is be joined with God. Theological outlook and dialogue with Jane. Stoicism. Helen is aware that her life will be soon over by her illness.
“It was as if a martyr, a hero, had passed a slave or victim, and imparted strength in the transit” (Page 80)
Jane views Helen as an angel as due to her humility she distracted the class from looking shamefully upon her. Seen as a saviour. Influential to Jane.
“True, Reader; and I knew and felt this: and though I am a defective being, with many faults and few redeeming points, yet I never tired of Helen Burns; nor ever ceased to cherish for her a sentiment of attachment, as strong, tender, and respectful as any that ever animated my heart” (Page 93)
Direct address occurs many times at moments of heightened intensity. Highlights the importance of Helen’s death – first time and Helen’s value to Jane in her friendship and as a companion.
“For I must see Helen – I must embrace her before she died – I must giver her one last kiss, exchange with her one last word” (Page 95)
Jane cared greatly for Helen, her companion, reflective of their sisterhood. Wants to thank Helen for all she has taught her.
“Yes; to my long home – my last home” (Page 96)
Sympathy and pathos for both Helen and Jane. Presents Helen as finding solitude in heaven. Believes she was placed on Earth to serve God and knows that she has fulfilled it.
“I had not qualities or talents to make my way very well in the world: I should have been continually at fault” (Page 97)
Helen knows that as a lower-class woman she would not have found success or freedom as an adult as she is not accomplished. Feminism and gender roles.
“My Maker and yours, who will never destroy what He created. I rely implicitly on His power, and confide wholly in His goodness: I could the hours till that eventful one arrives which shall restore me to Him, reveal Him to me” (Page 97)
The power of religion. Helen has lived her life in order to serve God in hope that he will repay her by greeting her in heaven.
“Her grave is in Brocklebridge Churchyard: for fifteen years after her death it was only covered by a grassy mound; but now a gray marble tablet marks the spot, inscribed with her name, and the word ‘Resurgam'” (Page 98) .
Helen Burns = Jane’s alter ego. “Burns” = passion. Helen must learn to repress in order to survive in Victorian society. Helen has survived in the hostile, frigid world of Lowood by found inside herself – by daydreaming – but this is not enough and she is burned up (by fever). Helen is Jane’s alter ego because she dies just as Jane begins to control her feelings, and once Helen dies Jane is more easily schooled. It is only as an adult, married woman that and can resurrect this part of herself. Hints to reader that Jane has later bough Helen a head stone with her earnings