On Jane's second day at the school, she wakes up shivering to a meager breakfast. She finds that her wash water is frozen in its pitcher.
Lowood's "discipline" is actually neglect. But the girls have no power to change anything.
In classes, Jane is overwhelmed by the lessons, but is fascinated by watching Helen Burns across the room. Even though Helen answers many difficult questions in her class, Miss Scatcherd goes out of her way to criticize and punish Helen. When she whips Helen across the neck, Jane is amazed that Helen doesn't flinch or cry.
Jane feels a connection with Helen that she never feels with anyone else. Humiliated and even physically injured, Helen is a Christ-like figure who endures unjust persecution without complaint.
Later, Jane tells Helen how she should furiously resist such unjust treatment. Helen explains to Jane her philosophy of turning the other cheek, and her belief in a beautiful afterlife that gives her hope and patience to endure suffering in this world.
Helen's religious views help her endures her suffering. Helen's optimistic faith will contrast with the stern Christianity of characters later in the book.