I remember it took me until college to read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I had some expectations and ideas since everyone and their mom had read it before. Plus anyone aware of the literary canon has this at the top of their list. It was a pretty hefty read, but from the start Jane was one of those people I really wanted to be.
Her strong spirit and self assurance was inspiring and something many of us wish for. Her relationship with Mr. Rochester was rocky, but she held her own and stayed true. Basically I wanted to be her the whole time reading this notable work. If you have or haven’t read it, you oughta know some of her best lines. She had a lot to say, but these were some of her best.
1. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
2. “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”
3. “I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
4. “I do not think, sir, you have any right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have; your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience.”
5. “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!”
6. “Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”
7. “Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”
8. “I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me.”
9. “The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.”
10. “There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.”
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