Jane Eyre

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Jane Eyre Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Spring brings better weather, but the dampness of the school grounds results in an epidemic of typhus that infects more than half of Lowood's students. Many are sent home. Many others die. Jane, meanwhile, is encouraged to wander outside for her health, and she takes great pleasure in the lush scenery and flowers. In the midst of spring's renewal, Jane contemplates death for the first time.
The Lowood epidemic recalls Brontë's own sisters' deaths, and illustrates the plight of poor women. The contrast of spring's rebirth with death wakes Jane up to life's contradictions. Spring is a transitional time, and Jane is transitioning out of her youth.
Themes
Social Class and Social Rules Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
Jane soon learns that Helen is also deathly ill. Helen suffers from consumption (tuberculosis), not typhus, and is being held in quarantine in Ms. Temple's room.
In Victorian literature, characters like Helen who are too sensitive or pure for the harsh world often died of consumption.
Themes
Religion Theme Icon
One night Jane sneaks to Helen's bedside. Helen assures Jane that she is not scared of dying because she will be leaving behind the suffering of the world and going to her God. They fall asleep in each other's arms. By morning, Helen is dead.
Helen's profound faith in an afterlife teaches Jane to give up on some of the petty struggles of life. The girls' bond is unbreakable, even by death.
Themes
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
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The Spiritual and the Supernatural Theme Icon
Helen is buried in an unmarked grave. But 15 years later, someone (probably Jane) places a headstone on the grave that is carved with the word "Resurgam"—Latin for "I will rise again."
The gravestone's inscription extends the novel's comparison of Helen to Christ.
Themes
Religion Theme Icon
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