We're leaving Lowood! We're leaving Lowood! La la la la la la!
I love those "gentlemen of rather more enlarged and sympathizing minds" (p. 99) who put an end to Mr. Brocklehurst's tyrannical, hypocritical rule at Lowood, don't you? I'm very fond of people who can "combine reason with strictness, comfort with economy, compassion with uprightness (p. 99). Come to think of it, that rather describes the person I'm always striving to be.
Miss Temple married "a clergyman, an excellent man" (p. 100). Charlotte Bronte's father was a clergyman, and she eventually married his curate. But she also declined an offer of marriage from another clergyman, insisting she was unsuited to the role of his wife. (Read more here.) I don't actually have any insights to offer here, just the observation of the role of the clergy in Bronte's life and in Jane's. A clergyman takes away Jane's beloved teacher and friend, and later another clergyman will seek to take Jane away from England and everyone she knows (and loves).
Once Miss Temple is gone, Jane desires to leave. First, she prays for liberty, but feels it's out of her reach, so then she prays for change. That seems too much too, so finally she begs for a new place to be useful. And that request is granted, though she seems to credit "a kind fairy" (p. 103) for the answer to how she can do that, rather than God answering her prayer.
And before she leaves Lowood, she gets a quick visit from Bessie, a link to the childhood that she is leaving behind. I find it so sweet that Bessie named her daughter Jane. She also brings news of Jane's cousins, none of whom seem to be doing very well in life. And while she doesn't think Jane has turned out to be very pretty, she does think she's genteel and ladylike and accomplished, which is something. She also brings the news that Jane has an uncle who is in the wine business, looks like a gentleman, and is now in Madeira. I must admit that I had totally forgotten Bessie brought that news of Jane's Uncle Eyre here -- it's been too long since I read these first ten chapters!
I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had courage to go forth into its expanse to seek real knowledge of life amid its perils (p. 101).
Possible Discussion Questions:
When Jane's trying to figure out how to find a new place to teach, she sits up in bed "by way of arousing this said brain" (p. 102). Do you find that physical motion or activity also stimulates your brain?
Jane says that until Miss Temple left, she had believed she was content (p. 100). But now she isn't. Is there a difference between believing you're content and actually being so? How can a person be sure they really are content? Is contentment something people even strive for much anymore? Do you?