Jane Eyre - Close analysis of pgs 80 & 81 - The death of Helen Burns Influences in the authors mind are less, as being a author has no creative boundaries but influences from the society are quite a hefty load on the author. In this case Jane Eyre has many influences from the Victorian era which is when this book is written. In the following paragraphs I will analyze in detail the links between Victorian era and this novel in this specific scene. The few basic concepts of the Victorian era displayed in this scene are Friendship is a bond that is eternal. This is what is shown in the relationship between Jane Eyre and Helen Burns.
This scene is the death scene of Helen Burns, this scene has occurred due to the poor conditions, etc in Low ood Institution. The scene starts as it portrays Jane in her bed, the time is an hour before midnight, Jane is constantly thinking of Helen's condition, Jane gets out of her bed and starts moving towards Miss Temple's room, this is where Helen is kept. Jane is narrating this paragraph, and she describes herself in a 'Quest" to find Helen. This shows how close Jane finds herself to Helen.
The description of the environment is silent, stealthy and dark. Bronte uses words such as 'Crept', 'Unclouded summer moon' and 'softly' to set the atmosphere for the reader. Jane narrates and uses words as 'dread being caught' and 'must' to show the strong bond between her and Helen, the word 'I must's hows just how important Helen is to her. Jane says to herself "one last kiss, exchange with her one last word", which signifies that Jane already knows the condition Helen is in. Jane reaches Miss Temples room undetected". A light shone " is a clich'e, symbolic for something like celestial angel which is how Bronte portrays Miss Temple, Jane uses words such as 'hesitate, quivering, impatient impulses' this speeds up the scene to a certain extent.
She also uses the words 'Souls and Senses' which in someway shows gothic nature. "My eyes sought Helen and feared to find death", The use of alliterative content to portray a better picture of fear for the reader. "Close to Miss Temple's chair, and half covered with white curtains, there stood a little crib" pay close attention to the terms 'white' which signifies purity and crib, which relates the reader to a baby, just the condition Helen is in right now, helpless and fragile. "An un snuffed candle burnt dimly on the table" in this sentence the candle burning dimly is a metaphor that signifies the amount of life Helen has inside of her. Jane uses the words 'corpse, pale, wasted' which shows a ghostly almost gothic sensation.
"Helen! i whispered softly, "are you awake?" , the use of? and! puts a bit of excitement as a topping to indulge the reader furthermore into the scene. Bronte furthermore portrays through the use of body language by Jane as in "her cheek both cold and thin, but she smiled as of old". This sentence shows that Helen is mentally strong but physically weak. The difference in these paragraphs between Jane and Helen is that Bronte portrays Helen as calm and collective whereas Jane as quick and jumpy. There are many themes that are shown in these two pages some of them being friendship, love, death, religion, abandonment, moral and guidance.
These themes some of them have been used throughout the novel, but some just newly introduced, such as the theme of friendship and love have just been introduced, love is further stretched when Jane meets Mr Brockenhurst. The theme of religion is displayed here through the use of gothic terms, such as 'Souls and Senses' and the description of the 'Dark, Stealthy' environment. "Yes; to my long home - my last home", Bronte conveys euphemism, by referring to death as a soft comfortable home. Bronte puts a certain amount of pressure and impact on the reader when she uses the words 'coughing seized'. Helen also has a definite relationship and affection to Jane which is shown when she gives Jane a sensitive but imperative order to "Lie down and cover yourself".
Helen being the older one of the two acted as the elderly sister or evermore the mother in the girls relationship this is shown by the words ' nestled close to her ', this is a motherly nature of birds. Helen as usual sees herself always at fault and always tries to look at the bright side of life, she thinks of herself less and more about comforting Jane. This is shown when Helen says "i should have been continually at fault". and "there is nothing to grieve about, Jane". The theme of religion is again displayed through Jane in a matter of confusion when she says " But where are you going Helen? Can you see? Do you know?
". Helen replies by " I believe; I have faith; I am going to god", this shows that Helen is a devoted follower of God, through the repetition of I this sentence gives a better impact to the reader, and afterwards Helen describes God and all of his positive traits and also uses the repetition of the word God. She describes God as a friend, and the fact that she loves and believes in him. There is contrasting characterization between the two about the subject of God and Religion, therefore Bronte uses Jane as a questioning tool, to make the reader get a better understanding, this puts the reader right into Jane's shoes. "How comfortable I am! That last fit of coughing has tired me a little; I feel as if I could sleep:" , the scene is about to close and it closes with Helen saying these few sentences and drifting of to eternal sleep., she insists on Jane not leaving her till her final moment and this signifies as quoted previously "Friendship is a bond that is eternal", Helen says that after Jane dies she would see Helen again as she would come in the same land Helen believes she's going to, showing just how true and rare their friendship is.
The scene ends with Jane and Helen saying "Good - Bye" to each other, the last words by Helen as she drifts of to eternal sleep.