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Free Study Guide-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte-Free Booknotes Summary
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Chapter 28

Summary

After two days, the coachman leaves Jane at Whitcross. She spends the night on the moors. The next day she tries to find work or food but finds that no one is ready to help her. She is forced to spend the next night also in the open, and the weather turns cold and wet. She tries to meet the clergyman, but he is away on account of his father's death. Except for a piece of bread from a farmer, and some cold porridge offered by a little girl, she cannot find much to eat. She almost resigns herself to death.

It is then that she sees a distant light from a lonely house, towards which she starts walking. On reaching the house, she looks in through a window. She sees two sisters, Diana and Mary, studying German. Their servant, Hannah, is knitting. Hannah refuses to let Jane in. Out of exhaustion Jane collapses at the entrance of the house. Their brother, the clergyman St. John Rivers, arrives just then and insists upon Jane's being let in. She is given food and drink and put to bed. She gives her name as Jane Elliot and asks not to be questioned further until she feels better.


Notes

During her wanderings through the moorland, Jane tries to get food, shelter and sympathy, but she faces rejection everywhere.

Jane finds that "to die of want and cold is a fate to which nature cannot submit passively." She finds it impossible to be resigned to misery, like Helen Burns. The language throughout this chapter, though often highly charged, is perfectly natural and stark. In the last stage of despair, she glimpses through a tiny window into another world. There she finds the deep peace of warmth, study, and security: the image of family affection in a secure home. This has been her unconscious goal all along. Rejected everywhere, she is taken into the home of the Rivers. For three days she lies near death. When she wakes up, she begins a new life.

Jane had left Thornfield appealing to God for "laws and principles." St. John, who embodies these virtues, comes into her life now as if he were the answer to her appeal.

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