I advocate <consistency> in all things


Senior Member
The context comes from Jane Eyre Chapter 4

"This is the state of things I quite approve," returned Mrs. Reed; "had I sought all England over, I could scarcely have found a system more exactly fitting a child like Jane Eyre. Consistency, my dear Mr. Brocklehurst; I advocate consistency in all things."

"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.

Hi everyone! I don't understand the word "consistency" here. I interpret it as "steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.:", but I don't know how the interpretation works here.
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    That interpretation is correct, but here Brocklehurst has extended the meaning of the word to fit his own views of what is proper for the different social classes.

    He thinks that it's "consistent" with a person's humble birth that everything a poor person is given should be of the meanest kind. This is how he can justify his own daughter's having the best of everything while the poor pupils are given the worst. It's his personal interpretation of social justice, because he claims of course to be a good Christian.
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