63 Best Jane Eyre Quotes
Jane Eyre is one of the most iconic female protagonists in literature. Written by Charlotte Brontë and published in 1847, the novel tells the story of Jane Eyre, an orphan taken in by her uncle and aunt and then sent to a strict boarding school. She is treated as an outcast and looked down upon by her peers and teachers. After leaving the school, Jane takes on a job as a governess at the estate of a wealthy man named Mr. Rochester. She and Rochester quickly fall in love, but Rochester’s past threatens their relationship. Ultimately, Jane is forced to choose between staying with Rochester or leaving and finding herself.
The book explores themes such as love, social class, gender roles, and morality. At its core, Jane Eyre is about self-discovery and overcoming adversity. The novel follows Jane’s journey from childhood to adulthood as she navigates through difficult relationships, societal expectations, and personal struggles. Her resilience in these challenges has made her an enduring symbol of courage and perseverance for readers worldwide. The novel has been adapted for film, television, and stage multiple times, making it one of history’s most iconic works of literature.
Here are some of the most memorable Jane Eyre quotes that have stood the test of time.
Jane Eyre Quotes by Charlotte Brontë
All my heart is yours, sir: it belongs to you; and with you it would remain, were fate to exile the rest of me from your presence forever.
And it is you, spirit – with will and energy, and virtue and purity–that I want, not alone with your brittle frame.
Beauty is in the eye of the gazer.
Conventionality is not morality.
Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive.
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!
Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.
Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.
Flirting is a woman’s trade, one must keep in practice.
Friends always forget those whom fortune forsakes.
He made me love him without looking at me.
He was the first to recognise me, and to love what he saw.
Her coming was my hope each day,
Her parting was my pain;
The chance that did her steps delay
Was ice in every vein.
I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.
I am not deceitful: if I were, I should say I loved you; but I declare I do not love you: I dislike you the worst of anybody in the world.
I am strangely glad to get back again to you: and wherever you are is my home—my only home.
I ask you to pass through life at my side – to be my second self, and best earthly companion.
I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss.
I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.
I could not help it: the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes.
I could not unlove him now, merely because I found that he had ceased to notice me.
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.
I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you – especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, – you’d forget me.
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 have little left in myself — I must have you. The world may laugh — may call me absurd, selfish — but it does not signify. My very soul demands you: it will be satisfied, or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.
I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest — blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband’s life as fully as he is mine.
I liked my name pronounced by your lips in a grateful, happy accent.
I loved him very much – more than I could trust myself to say – more than words had power to express.
I must have you for my own–entirely my own.
I must, then, repeat continually that we are forever sundered – and yet, while I breathe and think, I must love him.
I offer you my hand, my heart, and a share of all my possessions.
I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitements, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into its expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst its perils.
I see at intervals the glance of a curious sort of bird through the close set bars of a cage: a vivid, restless, resolute captive is there; were it but free, it would soar cloud-high.
I would always rather be happy than dignified.
I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading. It vexes me to choose another guide.
If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.
If people were always kind and obedient to those who are cruel and unjust, the wicked people would have it all their own way; they would never feel afraid, and so they would never alter, but would grow worse and worse.
In his presence I thoroughly lived.
It is a pity that doing one’s best does not always answer.
It is always the way of events in this life,…no sooner have you got settled in a pleasant resting place, than a voice calls out to you to rise and move on, for the hour of repose is expired.
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.
It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.
It is not violence that best overcomes hate — nor vengeance that most certainly heals injury.
It does good to no woman to be flattered [by a man] who does not intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it; and, if discovered and responded to, must lead, ignis-fatuus-like, into miry wilds whence there is no extrication.
Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour … If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?
Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.
Make my happiness–I will make yours.
No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.
Oh! that gentleness! how far more potent is it than force!
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.
Reader, I married him.
The eagerness of a listener quickens the tongue of a narrator.
The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.
There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.
To prolong doubt was to prolong hope.
To talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking.
What necessity is there to dwell on the Past, when the Present is so much surer-the Future so much brighter?
When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should – so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again.
Yet it would be your duty to bear it, if you could not avoid it: it is weak and silly to say you cannot bear what it is your fate to be required to bear.
You are human and fallible.
You — you strange — you almost unearthly thing! — I love as my own flesh. You — poor and obscure, and small and plain as you are — I entreat to accept me as a husband.
Your mind is my treasure, and if it were broken, it would be my treasure still.
Your will shall decide your destiny.