Holy semicolons, Batman!
Anyway, this starts out cheerfully -- spring is here, Jane isn't frozen half the time, and she gets to roam around pretty flower gardens and the woods! But then we learn that all is not cheerful -- "forty-five out of the eighty girls lay ill at one time" (p. 91). Good heavens. Places like Lowood, with too little food and too many people crammed into unhealthy living quarters, must have been regularly devastated by disease, don't you think? Poor things.
Still, for Jane, life is looking up. More food, more freedom, and another new friend. And while Helen Burns' death obviously makes Jane sad, at the same time, I feel like she's relieved that her friend can be at peace now.
Sometimes, on a sunny day, it began even to be pleasant and genial; and a greenness grew over those brown beds, which, freshening daily, suggested the thought that Hope traversed them at night, and left each morning brighter traces of her steps (p. 90).
Lowood shook loose its tresses; it became all green, all flowery... (p. 91).
My favorite seat was a smooth and broad stone, rising white and dry from the very middle of the beck, and only to be got at by wading through the water -- a feat I accomplished barefoot (p. 92).
Possible Discussion Questions:
If Helen Burns had lived, if she'd just had typhoid instead of tuberculosis, what do you think her life would be like?
Bronte makes no mention of Christ in the discussion between Helen and Jane about heaven. Helen's philosophy of "God is my father; God is my friend; I love him; I believe he loves me" (p. 97) strikes me as hollow, I must admit. How would including the Gospel message of being saved by grace through faith have changed the emphasis of this chapter's ending? Would it have changed Jane's reaction to Helen's death?