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Jane Eyre : quotations

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Jane Eyre is a notable literary work by Charlotte Brontë. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of Jane Eyre.

quotations

“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë is a classic novel with numerous memorable quotations. Here, we discuss some selected quotes from the novel that explore themes of love, independence, social class, and morality.

You have no business to take our books; you are a dependent, mama says; you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not to live here with gentlemen’s children like us, and eat the same meals we do, and wear clothes at our mama’s expense.

(John Reed, Chapter 1)

Explanation: John Reed’s comment about Jane reveals that the Reed family – Mrs. Reed and the Children – isolates and despises Jane because she is poor and an orphan. This attitude underlines the social class difference between Jane and the Reed children. Jane is considered a dependent with no money or inheritance. The Reed family believes she should beg for a living rather than staying with them, sharing their resources, and being treated equally.

 

I was a discord in Gateshead Hall: I was like nobody there; I had nothing in harmony with Mrs. Reed or her children, or her chosen vassalage. If they did not love me, in fact, as little did I love them.

(Jane Eyre, Chapter 2)

Explanation: Jane expresses her deep isolation and rejection within the Reed family at Gateshead Hall. She describes herself as a discord and feels she has nothing in common with Mrs. Reed, her children, or anyone in the household. The red room, where she is locked away as a punishment, symbolizes her emotional isolation. She is keenly aware of being unloved and unwanted by the Reeds. Since Jane is a 10-year-old orphan and has endured mistreatment from her cousin John and her aunt, these lines evoke sympathy from readers as they witness the unfairness and cruelty she faces.

 

I am glad you are no relation of mine: I will never call you aunt again as long as I live. I will never come to see you when I am grown up; and if any one asks me how I liked you, and how you treated me, I will say the very thought of you makes me sick, and that you treated me with miserable cruelty.

(Jane Eyre, Chapter 4)

Explanation: When Mrs. Reed calls Jane a liar to Mr. Brocklehurst, Jane expresses her outburst of anger. She voices her mistreatment and feelings of isolation. Later, she reflects on how her outburst did not make her feel better in a lasting way. It’s an early step in her moral education. Later in the story, Jane visits to see her sick aunt.

 

It is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself, than to commit a hasty action whose evil consequences will extend to all connected with you; and besides, the Bible bids us return good for evil.

(Helen Burns, Chapter 6)

Explanation: Helen Burns advises Jane that it is better to endure personal suffering patiently and not act hurriedly in anger. Helen suggests that controlling one’s desires and responding to adversity with patience and goodness aligns with the teachings of the Bible, which encourages people to respond to evil with good. This advice from Helen connects several key themes in the novel, including the importance of self-control and the influence of religion on the characters’ lives.

 

Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do;.. and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.

(Jane Eyre, Chapter 12)

Explanation: Jane Eyre passionately expresses her dissatisfaction with the traditional and constricting gender roles imposed on women. She argues that women are just as capable of feeling and needing intellectual and emotional inspiration as men. Jane’s words reflect early feminist themes as she challenges the societal standards that limit women to domestic tasks like cooking and sewing or restrict their roles to playing music and doing embroidery.

 

Do you think I can stay to become nothing to you? Do you think I am an automaton?—a machine without feelings?.. Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!—I have as much soul as you,—and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you.

(Jane Eyre, Chapter 23)

Explanation: Jane expresses why she must leave Rochester after knowing that he already has a wife. Jane passionately asserts her independence and self-worth to Mr. Rochester. She refuses to be treated as a mere object. Jane insists she has feelings, a soul, and a heart as deep and valid as his, regardless of her social and economic status. She cannot stay with Rochester without marriage and abandon her moral code.

 

If you are a Christian, you ought not to consider poverty a crime.

(Jane Eyre, Chapter 29)

Explanation: Jane advises Hannah, the Rivers’ servant, not to judge people based on their wealth.

 

Reader, I married him.

(Jane Eyre, Chapter 38)

Explanation: Jane informs the readers she has married Rochester. It also reminds readers that Jane has completed her journey toward being a strong, independent woman. She only marries Rochester after being financially independent. She listens to her heart and returns to her true love, Mr. Rochester.