A scene in "Jane Eyre" that adds to the meaning of the whole story can be found in Chapter 9. In this chapter, during a blissful shift from winter to spring, a severe outbreak of typhus occurs in the population of Lowood. This event shows many things about certain characters and about the society as a whole.
In this chapter Jane Eyre's values are revealed and her values are also seemingly created. Jane's values are revealed when she suddenly starts thinking about death: what is heaven and hell? From this, Jane realizes that she must meet, talk to, and touch her first true friend again before she enters her eternal slumber. This shows, although she might not believe it because of her constant negative thoughts about herself (also shown in this scene), that she is a loyal person, a decent human being, and a true friend. At this meeting it is also revealed that Jane is confused about the concept of the afterlife and God. She doesn't comprehend the notion of going to her "universal Parent" when the time comes when she, too, leaves this life. These values tie into and mold events to come in the novel such as when Mrs. Reed is ill. This again shows her loyalty because although she feels betrayed by her aunt, she still feels obligated to go and see her before she dies.
A few other characters that play minor roles in the novel have their values revealed in this episode. They include Miss Temple, Mr. Brocklehurst, and Helen. Miss Temple and Mr. Brocklehurst are exact foils of each other and this is revealed in this segment. Miss Temple shows her affection towards the girls at Lowood when it is stated that "her whole attention was absorbed by the patients: she lived in the sick-room, never quitting it except to snatch a few hours of rest". Mr. Brocklehurst, being Miss Temple's opposite, shows how little concern he feels towards the young ladies at Lowood and how much he cares for his own skin when he wouldn't let his family or himself near the orphanage because of the chance that they, too, might get infected. Lastly, Helen's ideas are revealed in this chapter. This is shown by Helen's acceptance of death and her beliefs in God.
Finally the views of society at this time can be observed. The main view that can be seen from this scene is the dread of the out-break of typhus. This is portrayed when Mr. Brocklehurst would not make an appearance at Lowood. This occurrence can be compared to the views of the ancient Romans towards leprosy and modern day people towards the A.I.D.S. virus.
These items are vital to the novel "Jane Eyre" and with out them the book, itself, would have little meaning. This scene helps show how the views of certain people and a society can play a major role in explaining the up coming events in the story. Without it a major piece in the puzzle would be missing, and don't you just hate it when a hole is found in a puzzle you are working on due to a missing piece?!