Jane wakes up in the nursery, cared for by Bessie, and by the local apothecary, Mr. Lloyd. Bessie tells Jane that she thinks that Mrs. Reed mistreated her, nurses Jane, and even sings Jane a song, but Jane is melancholy and unreachable. Jane only feels better when she gets a book—Gulliver's Travels, a fanciful satire by Jonathan Swift, which she believes is a factual story of distant places.
For her own children, Mrs. Reed would have hired a real doctor rather than an apothecary. Jane takes refuge in her imagination which, as with Mr. Reed's ghost, can sometimes be too powerful and distort the truth.
As Jane recovers, Mr. Lloyd asks her about her health and her well-being. Jane confesses her unhappiness and her regrets about having no family, but says she does not want to leave and become a beggar. Even if she had family, Jane says she would not want to rejoin them if they were very poor.
Poverty has affected Jane deeply enough to challenge her desire for family. Dependents and young women on their own had it rough—they could either work for someone or hit the streets.
Mr. Lloyd asks Jane if she'd like to attend school. Jane gladly says yes. He obtains permission from Mrs. Reed, who is thrilled to get rid of her niece.
Education is necessary for an orphan girl like Jane to create a place for herself in society.
Later, Jane overhears Bessie telling Miss Abbot the story of Jane's family. Jane's father was a poor clergyman. Jane's mother, a Reed, married him against her wealthy family's wishes, and they disowned her. Just after Jane was born, Jane's father caught typhus while helping the poor, and both of Jane's parents soon died. Jane's uncle Mr. Reed adopted her. Mr. Reed also died within a year, but made his wife, Mrs. Reed, promise to raise Jane like one of their own children—John, Eliza, and Georgiana.
Jane's parents are split between the working class and the upper-class gentry (people who owned property). Jane's mother chose love and her own desires over her family's money. Jane will do the same eventually. Like her mother, Jane is determined to earn respect for herself, and for women in general.