The punishment seemed to me in a high degree ignominious, especially for so great a girl – she looked thirteen or upward…to my surprise, she neither wept nor blushed. Composed, though grave, she stood, the central mark of all eyes…her sight seems turned in, gone down into her heart. She is looking at what she can remember, I believe; not at what is really present. I wonder what sort of girl she is – whether good or naughty.

– Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre, Chapter 5. Soon after arriving at Lowood School, Jane witnesses another orphan girl Helen Burns being humilated, as she is publicly punished for untidiness by being kicked out of class and made stand in the middle of the school room. Jane is impressed with Helen’s composure and strength in enduring her unjust punishment. Jane’s interest in the stoic Helen signals how important she is to the story and how she will serve as a Christ-like friend in Jane’s life, teaching Jane about the Christian virtue of forgiveness.