Consistency, madam, is the first of Christian duties; and it has been observed in every arrangement connected with the establishment of Lowood: plain fare, simple attire, unsophisticated accommodations, hardy and active habits; such is the order of the day in the house and its inhabitants.

– Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre, Chapter 4. Mr. Brocklehurst says this to Mrs. Reed, but his words are later revealed to be very ironic and dripping with hypocrisy. The man who views himself as a good Christian claims that young women in his care need the deprivation that his school offers. And he preaches it in the name of “Christian duties.” But later in the novel the inhuman conditions at Lowood are revealed, as Jane tells us about “faminished” girls and how the scanty food supply is barely enough to keep a “delidate invalid” alive. Mr. Brocklehurst is the ultimate religious hypocrite who starves the girls at his school while his family lives a life of luxury.