Jane starts work at her school. She has 20 students with little education. While Jane believes that personal potential is not limited to social class, she cannot help feeling a little degraded in becoming a small-town teacher and fears her life is going nowhere. Still, she thanks God for guiding her decision not to become Rochester's mistress.
As a teacher, Jane will instill in her students the education that gave her self-respect and strong morals. Since Jane has grown so much, the job now feels small to her, just as being Rochester's mistress would have felt small.
In conversation, St. John reassures Jane that he also had doubts about choosing his career in the parish church, but that now he has found his life's purpose—to become a missionary in India. St. John speaks with conviction about choosing the difficult but noble path in life.
St. John and Jane both have strong personalities and convictions, but their values differ. Jane learns from St. John about determination, but will choose a different path.
One of the school's benefactors is the rich and classically beautiful Rosamond Oliver. Jane can see that Rosamond and St. John are in love.
Rosamond's name is French for the "rose of the world." She represents the earthly desire that St. John rejects for his cold spiritual principles.