Helen Burns

So are there any Jane Eyre fans on the blog? How do you feel about Helen Burns? She’s Jane’s friend at school. The Jesusy girl who dies of consumption.

Everybody at the book club loved her but I always hated this character. I don’t think that masochism is cute and I see no value in forgiveness that’s given from the position of weakness. If somebody is pummeling you while you are lying on the ground and you are yelping, “I forgive you! I forgive you!,” it’s pathetic because it’s not like you have an option not to in any meaningful way.

When does the spirit of Christian forgiveness become a screen for excusing your passivity and fearfulness?