Helen Burns

Helen Burns is a secondary character in the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. She is a thirteen-year-old student at Lowood Institute and she becomes Jane’s first friend.

Helen is a virtuous girl with a strong Christian faith. She endures a lot of hardships as Lowood, particularly as teachers scold and punish her often, but Helen remains tolerant. Jane does not understand this, and wonders why Helen does not call out the unjust treatment she receives or defend herself against the teacher’s reprimands when they are unjustified. However, Helen’s faith leads her to believe that she must bear injustices and be kind to those who wrong her: “ ‘It is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself, than to commit a hasty action whose ev...

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