Jane Eyre Chapters 9-12 Summary

     Chapter 9 opens with the description of nature, which is, once again, a reflection of Jane's mood. Everything is blooming, skies are bright, nature brings nothing but joy. However, things are not so good in Lowood. Semi-starvations and neglect caused the typhus epidemic, transforming school into hospital. Almost half of the girls are lying in their beds. To prevent further spreading of disease, supervisors decide to ease the rules. Girls now have more freedom, so they spend their time outside playing and enjoying the warm spring. During this period, Mr. Brocklehurst is nowhere to be seen.

     Jane is curious to find out where is Helen. She have heard about Helen being ill, but she is not allowed to visit her. From time to time she gets news about Helen's condition, but in her childish naivety, she interprets each information as the good news. When someone tells her that Helen is removed from the hospital in a separate room, Jane believes that is because Helen is feeling better. Also, when she gets the information that Helen "will not be here for long," she is happy for her, thinking that Helen is going home. The truth is, Helen is dying and nothing more can be done. She is isolated from the other girls and is forbidden to have visitors. When Jane finally gets the true meaning of the information, she rushes to see her. Hellen is surprised and happy to see her, asking Jane to join her in the bed so that she does not catch a cold. In their last conversation, Helen explains to Jane that she really is going home, but to her last home, where she will finally escape sufferings and be with God. They fall asleep together, but the next morning, Helen is dead.

     Although the typhus epidemic is over in Lowood, the number of its victims draws the public attention, revealing the truth about Mr. Brocklehurst's management- the quantity and quality of children's food, pupils' clothing and accommodations, filth and unhealthiness in which children live. Kind and wealthy individuals decide to make a new home for the children, so they build a new building with much better living conditions. Mr. Brocklehurst is still a treasurer of Lowood, but he is discharged of his duties. Lowood is now a better place to live in.

     Chapter 10 jumps in the future, with Jane now almost eighteen. Her hard work payed off, and with a guidance of Miss Temple, she managed to obtain the position of a teacher. However, she is not completely satisfied with her life. Contemplating about her personal aspirations, hungry for freedom and a new beginning, she decides to advertise herself, hoping to find another working place. In order to send an advertisement, Mrs. Reed, as her "natural guardian," has to give her permission, which she does, mentioning that she has nothing to do with Jane. So, Jane advertises herself hoping for the best, since she has no friends, or family who would do that for her (which is the usual way of getting a new job). The only letter she gets in return is signed by certain Mrs. Fairfax from Thornfield Hall, offering Jane to teach a girl under the age of ten. Jane packs to Thornfield immediately, but just before her departure, she is told that she has a visitor. Bessi, her only friend from Gateshead, has come to see her. Excited to see Jane, aware that they might never see each other again, Bessie tells her all about life in Gateshead and the Reed family. She says that Mrs. Reed is not quite happy with the life choices of John, since he is kicked out of college and spends too much money, while Georgiana attempted to run away with a young lord she has fallen in love with. It seems that the Reeds are not having a fairytale life after all.

     In the next chapter, Jane is on her way to her new home, Thornfield Hall. She describes her trip and confusion with the change of scene and people. In Thornfield, she is greeted by Mrs. Fairfax whom Jane consider to be an owner of the house. After a pleasant evening with Mrs. Fairfax, Jane is ushered into her cozy little room, where she spends her first night. In the morning she is introduced to little Adèle, a girl from France, whose mother died before she was brought to England by Mr. Rochester. This is also the first time for Jane to hear of this man, and is perplexed with his role in the house. Mrs. Fairfax explains that Mr. Rochester is the owner of the house, though he is rarely present because he travels a lot. Curious to hear more, Jane asks about Rochester's personality, and talkative Mrs. Fairfax describes Mr. Rochester as a respectful, a bit though, but a good person. An exploration of the house continues as they walk upstairs and downstairs. Jane likes the house and finds it tastefully furnished. Everything goes smoothly until she is brought up to the attic to have a view of the garden, where she hears a strange laugh. Puzzled by this sudden noise, Jane asks Mrs. Fairfax what is it, and she replies that it must be another servant, Grace Pool, who laughs.

     Jane spends pleasant days in Thornfield Hall, teaching Adèle and meeting other servants, but her restless nature yearns for more excitement, dreaming about places she has never been to before and wondering how many women are there dreaming the same thing, to lead more active life, freed from imposed social rules.

     Months pass by, and the winter arrives. Jane is bored and needs some fresh air, so she offers to take Mrs. Fairfax's letter to the post office. On her way back, sudden noise startles her from thoughts. A dog, and a man on a horse pass by her and tumble. She rushes to help, asking if they need any help. The man is curious to learn where she lives. When she points her finger toward Thornfield Hall, he asks her about her master. She replies that she has not met him yet, closing the conversation and the scene. When she finally gets to Thornfield, she is told that her master has arrived.

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