There is a reason why Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre has been on the classics list for more than 150 years. These Jane Eyre quotes show us why.
Jane Eyre, published in 1847, is a novel about a plain young woman who is mistreated her entire life, and still, somehow, remains a kind, independent, and strong person.
Bronte’s book has long been considered both an icon of feminism and an important social commentary on 19th century British society.
Throughout the novel, Jane is hit with one misfortune after another and must also face difficult choices, her desires often conflicting either with moral values or social normalities.
More than an entertaining read, Jane Eyre is a discussion on love, feminism, independence, morality, and social justice.
We hope you enjoy these Jane Eyre quotes.
Don’t forget to also check out these Rachel Hollis quotes about goals and success.
Jane Eyre quotes on love
1. “I could not unlove him now, merely because I found that he had ceased to notice me.” — Charlotte Bronte
2. “Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong!” — Charlotte Bronte
3. “Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.” — Charlotte Bronte
4. “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.” — Charlotte Bronte
5. “Reader, I married him.” — Charlotte Bronte
6. “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.” — Charlotte Bronte
7. “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.” — Charlotte Bronte
8. “I must, then, repeat continually that we are forever sundered – and yet, while I breathe and think, I must love him.” — Charlotte Bronte
9. “No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.” — Charlotte Bronte
10. “I knew, you would do me good, in some way, at some time;- I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you: their expression and smile did not- (again he stopped)- did not (he proceeded hastily) strike delight to my very inmost heart so for nothing.“ — Charlotte Bronte
11. “You are no ruin sir – no lighting-struck tree: you are green and vigorous. Plants will grow about your roots, whether you ask them or not because they take delight in your bountiful shadow; and as they grow they will lean towards you, and wind round you, because your strength offers them so safe a prop.” — Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre quotes about passion
12. “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.” — Charlotte Bronte
13. “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.” — Charlotte Bronte
14. “And it is you, spirit – with will and energy, and virtue and purity–that I want, not alone with your brittle frame.” — Charlotte Bronte
15. “You, Jane, I must have you for my own – entirely my own.” — Charlotte Bronte
16. “Children can feel, but they cannot analyse their feelings; and if the analysis is partially effected in thought, they know not how to express the result of the process in words.” — Charlotte Bronte
17. “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. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God’s feet, equal — as we are!” — Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre quotes about beauty
18. “I like this day; I like that sky of steel; I like the sternness and stillness of the world under this frost.” — Charlotte Bronte
19. “A loving eye is all the charm needed: to such you are handsome enough; or rather, your sternness has a power beyond beauty.” — Charlotte Bronte
20. “A beauty neither of fine colour nor long eyelash, nor pencilled brow, but of meaning, of movement, of radiance.” — Charlotte Bronte
21. “You have rather the look of another world. I marvelled where you had got that sort of face.” — Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre quotes about freedom and independence
22. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” — Charlotte Bronte
23. “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.” — Charlotte Bronte
24. “I desired liberty; for liberty I gasped; for liberty I uttered a prayer; it seemed scattered on the wind then faintly blowing.” — Charlotte Bronte
25. “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.” — Charlotte Bronte
26. “I can live alone, if self-respect, and circumstances require me so to do. I need not sell my soul to buy bliss. I have an inward treasure born with me, which can keep me alive if all extraneous delights should be withheld, or offered only at a price I cannot afford to give.” — Charlotte Bronte
27. “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.” — Charlotte Bronte
28. “I’ll walk where my own nature would be leading. It vexes me to choose another guide.” — Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre quotes about Happiness
29. “I would always rather be happy than dignified.” — Charlotte Bronte
30. “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.” — Charlotte Bronte
31. “It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action, and they will make it if they cannot find it.” — Charlotte Bronte
32. “Even for me, life had its gleams of sunshine.” — Charlotte Bronte
33. “There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort.” — Charlotte Bronte
34. “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.” — Charlotte Bronte
35. “Remorse is the poison of life.” — Charlotte Bronte
More Inspiring Jane Eyre quotes
36. “Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.” — Charlotte Bronte
37. “Flirting is a woman’s trade, one must keep in practice.” — Charlotte Bronte
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of flirting quotes that will reignite the spark in your relationship.
38. “I ask you to pass through life at my side – to be my second self, and best earthly companion.” — Charlotte Bronte
39. “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; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; 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.” — Charlotte Bronte
40. “Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.” — Charlotte Bronte
41. “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.” — Charlotte Bronte
42. “It is not violence that best overcomes hate – nor vengeance that most certainly heals injury.” — Charlotte Bronte
43. “It is a pity that doing one’s best does not always answer.” — Charlotte Bronte
44. “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.” — Charlotte Bronte
45. “Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you are alive.” — Charlotte Bronte
46. “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.” — Charlotte Bronte
47. “You are cold, because you are alone: no contact strikes the fire from you that is in you. You are sick; because the best of feelings, the highest and the sweetest given to man, keeps far away from you. You are silly, because, suffer as you may, you will not beckon it to approach, nor will you stir one step to meet it where it waits you.” — Charlotte Bronte
48. “You are human and fallible.” — Charlotte Bronte
49. “It is hard work to control the workings of inclination and turn the bent of nature; but that it may be done, I know from experience.” — Charlotte Bronte
50. “But what is so headstrong as youth? What so blind as inexperience?” — Charlotte Bronte
What values should guide our lives?
This is one of the important questions that Charlotte Bronte asks us in Jane Eyre. Jane’s life is guided by kindness, independence, and the pursuit of always being a good person.
There are so many conflicting values in the world today, it can be difficult to know what the right choice is in every situation. Sometimes, what society tells you and what your heart is saying may be different. So when that happens, what do you do?
Though society has changed drastically in the last couple of centuries, Jane’s story is still relevant today. If written today, Jane’s struggles might look a little different, but the essence of the story would be the same: what does it mean to be a good person? And how does one strive to live their life in that way?
Did you enjoy these Jane Eyre quotes and lines? Which quote was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.
December 22, 2020 7:00 AM EST