And so Jane begins her newest adventure, teaching poor young girls. I do like her attitude that "the germs of native excellence, refinement, intelligence, kind feeling, are as likely to exist in their hearts as in those of the best-born" (p. 415). Yet, she feels as if she's sunk to a lower place in society than she previously possessed, which I'm sure she has -- schoolmarm to a bunch of commoners must be a lower station than private governess to a gentleman's ward. What I love best here is that Jane points out that she should not hate or despise herself for feeling this because she knows it is wrong to feel herself degraded. Recognizing herself as being petty and weak is a great step forward. Way to go, Jane!
I also love how worried she still is about Mr. Rochester. She worries that he will be driven to "desperate grief and fatal fury" (p. 417) by her disappearance.
And then here's St. John, kindly inquiring as to whether Jane likes her cottage and job. I do like him for that. But then Miss Oliver turns up, and he gets all flower-crushing and distant. St. John, St. John, you're such a stubborn fellow, but not in the good way, I fear.
God directed me to a correct choice. I thank His providence for the guidance! (p. 416)
Possible Discussion Questions:
Jane says of Miss Oliver possessing both beauty and fortune, "What happy combination of the planets presided over her birth, I wonder?" (p. 421) Do you think she's being tongue-in-cheek here, or does Jane believe in astrology?