Jane Eyre: Novel Summary: Chapters 9-10

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Chapter 9: When spring comes, the hardships because of the weather are lessened at Lowood.  However, typhus has struck the school, and the schoolroom and dormitory are transformed into a hospital.  Forty-five of the eighty girls are sick, and many have left or died.  Those who are not sick are often left to themselves, as is Jane. Helen has consumption, not fever, and Jane thinks that this is a mild sickness and will soon pass.  She soon learns differently though, and is told that Helen may soon not be with them.  When she is told that she cannot go and visit her, Jane sneaks to Miss Temple's room (where Helen is staying) in the middle of the night.  Helen and Jane talk, and Jane gets into bed with Helen.  Helen tells her that she will be going to God and has no regrets.  Jane asks her about God and Heaven, and they both fall asleep.  In the morning Jane awakens to a nurse carrying her off, and later learns that Miss Temple had returned to her room to find Jane there sleeping with her arm around Helen, who had died.
Chapter 10: While the first nine chapters cover Jane's life through age ten, the next chapter covers eight years in a page.  When the public learns of how many had died from typhus at the school and how bad the food and clothes were, many wealthy individuals come forth and build a new building and make new regulations and improvements.  While Mr. Brocklehurst is still the treasurer, a committee of more sympathetic men now aids him.  Jane is there eight years, six and a student and two as a teacher.  Miss Temple is there as superintendent the whole time, and while at first she is like a mother and governess to Jane, later they are companions. 
When Miss Temple is married and leaves Lowood, Jane suddenly realizes that there is a world outside of the school that she wishes to enter.  She puts an ad in the paper saying that she is available as a governess, and receives a reply from a Mrs. Fairfax in Millcote.  Mr. Brocklehurst says that they must first write to Mrs. Reed to ask her permission, and a letter is returned from Mrs. Reed saying that Jane may do as she pleases.
The day before she is to go Jane gets a visit from Bessie, who wants to see her before she leaves.  Bessie has married Robert, the coachman, and they have a young girl and boy.  Bessie is glad to hear that Jane has done so well and has so many accomplishments, but Jane can see that Bessie still sees her as plain, and not a beauty.  Bessie tells Jane that seven years before a Mr. Eyre came to Gateshead looking for her on his way to another country.  She says that she thinks it was her father's brother and that he may be a wine merchant.  The next morning Jane sees Bessie for a short while and then is off on the coach to her new life in Millcote.

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