Charlotte Bronte’s presentation of Helen Burns at contributing to the formation of Jane’s character is significant because Helen helped Jane try to find what kind of character she is going to be, also Helen was the only friend that she had when she went to Lowood but she gradually develop a friendship with other students and other teachers, such as Miss Temple, before leaving to go to Thornfield.
When Jane first met Helen, Jane doesn’t really describe her but Jane found Helen interesting when she saw Helen reading a book called “Rasselas” this shows that the two characters have something in common, which was reading. Jane first spoke to Helen “directly” about the book and at that moment Jane “had already formed the intention of asking her (Helen) to lend it to me some day” this shows that Jane was eager to become friends with Helen. As Helen first spoke to Jane, Helen “examined” her, which could describe that Helen might have an interest on becoming Jane’s friend.
Jane’s character earlier in the book does not often speak to strangers, but Jane “continued” to talk to Helen about the book, even though she said “hardly know where I found the hardihood thus to open a conversation with a stranger” this shows that Jane was not in control of herself and she further on said that this “was contrary to my nature and habits” which clearly shows that Jane’s character has changed in a way that she now speaks to strangers. Jane does say that she finds something interesting about Helen: “I think her occupation touched a chord of sympathy somewhere; for I too liked reading” it explains that Jane found Helen interesting because both had something in common and Jane never knew that she could find someone that has the same interest as her, which made her curios about Helen. Jane pursued on trying to make a conversation with Helen even though Helen wanted to go back to her reading: “she was about to relapse into her former studious mood: again I ventured to disturb her” this shows that Jane is still not in control of herself when she was speaking to Helen.
According to Mrs. Gaskell, a good friend of Charlotte Bronte, Helen Burns was ‘an exact transcript’ of Maria Bronte (Charlotte’s older sister) who died of consumption and Helen too do die of consumption, this shows that Charlotte might have been writing about her sister in the book, it does explain a lot of theory because Maria was a ‘quiet’ person and this can also be said about Helen who is also ‘quiet’. Furthermore, Mr. Bronte and Maria often have different topic about anything and as Mr. Bronte said ‘could speak with Maria on any popular topic of the day as fluently as with an adult’ this shows a kind of relevant with Helen because Helen spoke to Miss Temple about anything and as Jane recalled it “they conversed of thing I had never heard of; of nations and times past, of countries…” this shows that child Jane was similar to child Charlotte that never knew what Mr. Bronte and Maria was talking about and Charlotte recalls this memory and placed it on Jane’s’ autobiography book.
Helen and Jane spoke to each other and Helen even told Jane a little bit about her life but then Helen wanted to go back to her reading and not be distracted “you ask rather too many questions. I have given you answers enough for the present: now I want to read”. Jane however was not angry to Helen when Helen told her that she wanted to be left alone but instead Jane just left Helen on her own. Jane though in the other hand was still curious about Helen and this was shown when Helen was punished by Miss Scatcherd and Jane “expected she would show signs of great distress and shame; but to my surprise she neither wept nor blushed: composed, though grave, she stood, the central mark of all eyes” this shows that Helen is an obedient student and Jane was “surprise” because if it was Jane punished she would not