Chapters 7-10 Summary and Analysis
Jane’s hardship at Lowood continues throughout the winter. Despite the cold and their thin apparel, the girls are forced to spend an hour outside every day, which causes Jane’s feet to become swollen and inflamed. Due to the inadequate portions of food, many of the older students steal food from younger pupils like Jane. For nearly a month since Jane’s arrival at Lowood, Mr. Brocklehurst has been away. Jane, fearing his promise to tell her teachers of her deceitful nature, is very glad of this. When Mr. Brocklehurst finally arrives, he admonishes Miss Temple for being too easy on the girls. Infuriated by a young girl’s naturally curly hair, Mr. Brocklehurst orders that her hair be cut off and then decides that all the girls must have their top knots cut off to make them more modest. In the middle of this outburst, Mr. Brocklehurst’s wife and daughters enter the room wearing fine gowns and hats with their hair in elaborate curls. Jane hopes to go unnoticed by Mr. Brocklehurst but draws attention to herself by accidentally dropping her slate. Enraged, Mr. Brocklehurst forces Jane to stand on a stool in front of the whole school and proceeds to tell them that she is a wicked liar whom the other girls should shun. Utterly devastated, Jane is forced to remain on the stool for hours, her only consolation being the small smiles Helen gives her as she walks past.
Jane remains on the stool until five o’clock. Once the rest of the girls have left, Jane breaks down and cries, fearing that everyone at the school will now despise her. Helen appears and comforts Jane, explaining that Mr. Brocklehurst is not well-liked and that most of the students and teachers likely felt pity for her. Miss Temple invites both girls to her room and urges Jane to tell her side of the story. After Jane honestly describes her time at Gateshead, Miss Temple says she will write to Mr. Lloyd to confirm Jane’s account and publicly clear her of Mr. Brocklehurst’s accusation. Miss Temple spends several hours enjoyably conversing with the girls after kindly offering them seed cake and tea. A week later,...
(The entire section is 1084 words.)