Jane Eyre key quotes

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Chapter 1 – Jane’s childhood & intro to the Reeds.

§‘rock stand up alone in a sea of billow’

       -  Portrays Jane’s isolation and independence

§ ‘Habitually obedient to John.’

       - Normal for her to be fearful of him; seen as below him and this exemplifies a patriarchal structure.

§ ‘bad animal’

       - The family perceive her as an animal or even lower; links to class and status.

§ ‘dependent’  

       - This again links to the idea of her being lower than them, class and status.

§ ‘all the house belongs to me’

       -  Again, exemplifying a patriarchal structure; belittles even Mrs Reed, despite her age and relation to him.

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Chapter 2 – Jane is sent to the red room.

§ you’re less than a servant’

       - Links to Jane’s dependency and class.

§ ‘I resisted all the way’

      -  Portrays Jane’s independence and defiance.

§ ‘like nobody there’

       -  Highlights further her isolation.

§ ‘virulent passions’

       - Shows her defiance, but also links to Adele; her passion is gone after

she leaves school and this exemplifies a societal structure stuck in a cycle.

§ 'God will punish her.'

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Chapter 3 – After results of red room.

§ ‘the plumage of the bird […] seemed strangely faded’

       - Certain freedom comes to late and Jane feels that it does not fit her “class”

§ ‘I should like to belong to poor people’

       - Jane is hypocritical here; still sees herself as above.

§ ‘cannot care for such a little toad’ (said by Mrs Reed)

      - Still referred to in an animalistic manner.

§ ‘entrance into a new life’

      - Jane sees hope in Lowood and in education; non-stereotypical of a

woman in this era.

§ ‘Georgiana would be more moving in the same condition’

      - Sympathy received relies on class, status and looks.

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Chapter 4 – Meeting of Brocklehurst.

§ ‘she [Mrs Reed]  had drawn a more marked line of separation between me and her own children’ § ‘once attempted chastisement; but as I instantly turned against him’

       - This shows from very early stages within the novel that Jane will not

conform to the patriarchal structure and be the product of a stereotype.

§ ‘They are not fit to associate with me’ (Jane on Reed children)

       - Portrays further her defiance.

§ ‘Georgiana sat on a high stool’

       - It is significant that this a ‘high stool’ because it exemplifies her status

above Jane.

§ ‘Do you know where the wicked go after death?’

        - In this sense, Brocklehurst uses religion to enforce discipline through fear.

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Chapter 5 – Jane goes to Lowood.

§ ‘half-moon’

      - This links directly to gothic conventions within the novel

§  ‘I was carried’

      - Novel is bildungsroman and so her progression in strength is seen; goes

from being carried to the carrier

§ ‘she touched my cheek gently with her forefinger’

      - First time within novel that Jane is shown affection

§ ordering of ‘bread and cheese’

      - This portrays Ms Temple’s early unwillingness to conform to the

patriarchal structure, even though like Jane, she eventually does

§ ‘she neither wept nor blushed.’ (Helen)

       -  Again, a character is presented who is unwilling to conform and shows defiance

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Chapter 6 – Jane and Helen.

§ ‘the Bible bids us return good for evil’

        - Jane admires Helen for her patience and goodness; something which Jane lacks.

§ ‘Heathens and savage tribes hold that doctrine; but  Christians and civilised nations disown it.’

        - Helen discussing the applicable terms of punishment; can be seen as post-colonial.

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Chapter 7 – Brocklehurst brands Jane a liar.

§not to accustom them to habits of luxury and indulgence, but to render them hardy, patient’

       - Here, Brocklehurst is highlighting the typical Victorian societal structure in regards to females characters.

§ ‘that girl’s hair must be cut off entirely’ § ’light tresses, elaborately curled’

      -  These two quotes portray the differences of society based on lower class (first) and middle class (second) This shows directly that different rules apply based purely on class; even though both are equal.

§ ‘not a member of the true flock, but evidently an interloper and an alien.’

      - This identifies Jane as  an outsider, non-conformer and non-stereotypical.

§ ‘Such is the imperfect nature of man!’

      - Bronte is acknowledging the imperfections of man and accepts natures role in this.

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Chapter 8 – Ms Temple and clearing of name.

§‘whom I truly love’

      - For the first time in her life, Jane is discovering love for others; Helen and Ms Temple.

§ ‘I had meant to be so good’ § ‘teach me drawing’

      - Only form of education women had; were taught to be wives, not professionals.

§ ‘my  child’ (Miss Temple to Jane)

      - First time Jane is accepted as someone’s family.

§ ‘I would not now have exchanged Lowood with all its privations for Gateshead’ 

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Chapter 9 – Helen dies.

§ ‘free

 - First time Jane talks of freedom.

§ ‘pure society’

      - Helen is described as this. This suggests that Helen embodies Bronte’s ideal of society’s citizens. When she dies, so does morality. 

§ ‘By dying young, I shall escape great sufferings’

      - Helen’s idea of suffering here could be referring to conforming to society’s ideals; by not dying young, Jane’s innocence is inevitably destructed and she is forced to conform and face the corruption of society.

§ ‘she kissed me’ (Helen to Jane)

     - Early signs of affection that build Jane as a character and enable her to understand love.

§ Jane marks Helen’s grave with a ‘grey marble tablet’

      - This portrays her significance not only to Jane, but to the novel as a whole. 

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Chapter 10 - Jane sees Bessie & becomes governess.

§ ‘my insignificant existence’ § ‘strictness, comfort with economy, compassion with uprightness’

     - Lowood is microcosm of society; Brocklehurst is overpowering PM, students are constituents. Eventually it is made right with balance, like society should be; Bronte’s ideal.

§ ‘she married, removed with her husband’ (Miss Temple)

     - She has to conform, it’s the beginning of the cycle.

§ ‘I had my advertisement written.’

     - Unusual for Victorian woman; portrays Jane’s defiance and independence.

§ ‘they will never make much of him.’ (John Reed) § ‘takes her back to Gateshead’ VS ‘new life in the unknown environs’

     - Bronte is juxtaposing stereotypical women (Bessie) with non-stereotypical (Jane) here. 

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Chapter 11 – First night at Thornfield.

§ ‘very chill and vault-like air’ (description of Thornfield)

     - Like a prison, entrapped.

§ Lexical field; ‘bright little’ , ‘gay blue chintz’ , ‘pleasant’

     - All positive towards new beginning.

§ ‘I sometimes regretted that I was not handsomer.’

     - Victorian patriarchal system/feminism.

§ ‘cried’

    - Adele is energetic and vibrantly described from her intro to novel.

§ ‘the laugh was as tragic, as a preternatural laugh.’

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Chapter 12 – Meet Mr Rochester.

§ ‘Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine’

     - Here, Bronte is discussing either females on the lower class.

§ ‘women feel just as men feel.’ § ‘He laid a heavy hand on my shoulder.’

     - Jane is helping Rochester; thus he is the dependent, breaking all boundaries.

§ ‘You must just stand to one side’ (Rochester)

     - Portrays masculinity; men vs women

§ ‘moon was waxing bright’

     - Gothic convention

§ ‘Had he been handsome […] I should not have dared to stand thus questioning him.’

      - They’re equals and looks award places in society. 

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Chapter 13 – Jane’s second meeting with Rochester.

§ ‘he was not in the mood to notice us’     - Rochester is in control here; exemplifies the patriarchal structure.  § ‘But what do you think?’

     - Interested in her mind.

§ Teases her about being a ‘witch’ § ‘he was tired of our company, and wished to dismiss us.’

    - Exemplifies the control of patriarchal society.

§ ‘mystery’

     - Gothic convention. 

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Chapter 14 – Meeting with Rochester again.

§ ‘different to what I had seen him look before; not quite so stern – much less gloomy.’

     - This is the point in which the reader begins to see change within Rochester and he gets closer to Jane.

§ ‘you are not pretty any more than I am handsome’

     - Portrays equality.

§ ‘you puzzled me’ (Rochester to Jane)

     - Her mind is what draws him to her.

§ ‘subordinate’ (Jane)

     - She recognises her lower place

§ ‘the Lowood constraint still clings to you somewhat’

      - Jane is slowly changing in numerous ways; coming out of her given shell. 

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Chapter 15 – Learn of Adele and Rochester’s past.

§ ‘you never felt love.’ (Rochester to Jane) § ‘it is a peculiar mind; it Is a unique one.’ § ‘He held out his hand; I gave him mine.’

    - Pivotal point at which their love becomes explicit, in a plain way.

§ ‘billows of trouble rolled under surges of joy.’

     - Jane herself knows that it cannot be.

§ ‘I was left in total darkness.’

     - Gothic convention, but also portrays that Jane feels she is in darkness without Rochester.

§ ‘I believed he was naturally a man on better tendencies..’ (pg 175)

    - Point in which the novel becomes more of the romantic genre.

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Chapter 16 – Rochester goes away to Blanche Ingram

§ ‘I had more colour and more flesh […] because I had brighter hopes’ (pg 186)

     - How all women should be in society; portrays the benefits of independence for women.

§ ‘meeting him in an argument without fear or uneasy constraint.’

     - This highlights Jane’s defiance, but also their equality despite gender.

§ ‘Blanche, an accomplished lady of rank.’

     - Ironic; Jane is falling to society’s ideas of an accomplished woman. This excludes the idea that an accomplished women requires independence, intelligence etc.

§ ‘She and Mr Rochester sung a duet.’

      - Highlights the equality between those of the same class.

§ ‘Ingram was certainly the queen.’

      - Above Jane, in regards to the hierarchy. 

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Chapter 17 – Rochester back; Jane forced to mix.

§Good-night, my –’

     - Exemplifies their forbidden love and highlights the oppressions of males.

§ ‘He is not of your order; keep to your caste.’

     - Caste is the idea of a closed social class; once born into, one stays there for their entire life. This is an example of Marxist literary criticism.

§ ladie’s silvery accents’

     - Idea of silver suggests upper class, in comparison to Jane.

§ ‘flock of white plumy birds’ (motif, ladies)

      - Refers to the freedom that Jane doesn’t feel in Chapter 3 when Bessie gives her the plate.

§ Governesses are described as an ‘incompetency and caprice’ § Rochester is concerned for her; ‘And a little depressed. What about?’

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Chapter 18 - Mr Mason and gypsy.

§she looks too stupid.’ (Blanche about Jane)

    - Assumptions made based on class and job.

§ ‘her mind was poor.’ (Jane on Blanche)

    - This relates to Rochester’s love for Jane because he loves her ‘peculiar mind’ and thus, finds Blanche uninteresting.

§ ‘her rank and connections suited her.’

    - Constant referrals to rank acknowledge that there is a hierarchy within society.

§ ‘his friends dislike of the burning heats…’ (pg 228) § ‘A shockingly ugly creature…’

    - With hindsight, both can be analysed as a post-colonial reading.

§ All ‘tall’ in comparison to Jane; she is belittled or below them. 

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Chapter 19 – Jane meets gypsy.

§‘Why don’t you tremble?’ (Rochester) § ‘highest and sweetest give to man, keeps far away from you.’

    - Fits in with the idea of castes and Jane being a suppressed female.

§ ‘endowed with gifts of rank and fortune.’ (ladies) § ‘help me.’ (Rochester)

     - Again, Jane is portrayed as the defiant female because he is dependent on her.

§ ‘if not his person, at least his purse.’

     - Money is of importance in Victorian society.

§ This chapter is the most significant point in their expression of love. 

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Chapter 20 – Mr Mason gets attacked.

§ ‘She sucked the blood.’ § ‘like a tigress’ § ‘wild beast’

     - Bertha or ‘Grace Poole’ is only described in animalistic manners.

§‘I want you.’ (Rochester) § ‘Savage’

     - Again, with hindsight this can be analysed as a post-colonial reading.

§ ‘don’t hesitate to take a place by my side, do you?’

      - Here, there is an obvious class divide. However, Rochester because they are equal and expects Jane to stand equally beside him.

§ Rochester discusses his love for her morality that causes her defiance to instruction.   

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Chapter 21 – Death of Mrs Reed.

§ ‘he ruined his health and his estate’ (John)

    - Proof that wealth doesn’t equal status.

§ ‘the loss of money and fear of poverty were quite breaking her down.’ (Mrs Reed)

    - Links to significance of class.

§ Blanche refers to Jane as ‘that person’

    - Not even worthy of a name.

§Rochester needs Jane; so urges her ‘not to advertise’ §Uncle Reed was the one to ‘nurse’ Jane.

   - Role reversal/failure of the patriarchal society.

§Georgiana ‘you cry out that you are ill-treated, neglected, miserable.’

   - Proof that worth doesn’t equal happiness.


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Chapter 22 – Returns to Thornfield.

§‘cousin Jane Eyre’

   - Finally accepted as part of the family.

§ ‘But what is so headstrong as youth?’

   - Links to purity, defiance and an uncorrupted mind.

§ Janian reply’

   - Exemplifies her individualism, but Rochester understands her.

§ ‘he had spoken of Thornfield as my home.’

    - Jane finally has a home and family.

§ Rochester refer to Jane as Adele’s ‘English mother’ (French translation)    

    - This links Jane to part of a family; something she struggles to find throughout the novel. 

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Chapter 23 – The proposal.

§ Rochester calls her ‘Janet’

    - Trying to mould her into upper-class.

§ ‘jasmine, pink and rose’ , ‘skies so pure, suns so radiant.’

    -Heavy romantic imagery and description.

§ Despite the proposal, Jane still refers to him as ‘master.’ § ‘I summon you as my wife.’

    - The use of the imperative suggests that Rochester still holds significant power over Jane, despite them supposedly being equals.

§ ‘I am a free human being with independent will.’

    - Again, Jane portrays her defiance here.

§ The orchard tree splits down the middle.

    - This suggests that they are not supposed to be together or that they are still unequal. 

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Chapter 24 – Wedding planning and conflict.

§ ‘I am your plain, Quaker governess’ VS. ‘superb pink satin’

   - Jane accepts her position within society, but Rochester tries to mould her.

§ ‘I believe she thought I had forgotten my station.’ § ‘Equality of position and fortune is often advisable.’

   - Fairfax reminds of class divide.

§ ‘Rochester refers to Jane’s independence as ‘governessing slavery.’ § ‘I was not born for a different destiny than the rest of my species.’ § This chapter is a deciding point for Jane; does she conform or continue with her independence.

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Chapter 25 – Night before wedding and veil.

§ Jane refers to belongings as ‘hers’ rather than ‘mine’

   - Completely disassociates herself with the new life.

§ ‘I wanted you, but don’t boast.’

   - Jane still upholds some defiance.

§ ‘your life, sir.’ , ‘aristocratic tastes.’

   - Clear division in class between Jane and Rochester. She understands this, whilst he doesn’t.

§ ‘It was white and straight.’ (Bertha)

   - The use of ‘white’ portrays innocence within Bertha, which could link to the idea that she went made after being locked away.

§‘red eyes’ , ‘it was a savage face.’

    - This is an animalistic perspective of Bertha, but can also link to a post-colonial reading because of the description ‘savag.e.’

§ ‘She seemed the emblem of my past life.’ (Jane about Adele)

     - Links to the idea of a Victorian patriarchal society cycle. 

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Chapter 26 – Wedding and Bertha Mason.

§ ‘image of a stranger’

    - Jane doesn’t recognise herself and is slowly changing.

§ ‘lean on me’ (Rochester)

    - She’s becoming dependent on him, like he is on her earlier in the novel.

§ Jane reacts ‘mechanically.’ § ‘my love lost, my hope quenched and my faith death-stricken.’ § ‘Creole’ (Bertha)

    - Post-colonial reading; this could explain why Rochester hid her away in relation to historical context.

§ ‘Bertha Mason is mad.’

   - This is true, but the real question is why.

§ ‘the master.’

   - Completely disassociates herself with the situation and even more with Rochester. 

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Chapter 27 – Bertha story and Jane leaves.

§ ‘Conscience, turned tyrant, held Passion by the throat.’

   - Personification; Jane is being logical, rather than ruled by passion.

§ ‘I was supported by Mr Rochester.’ juxtaposed to ‘Mr Rochester I must leave you.’ § ‘I pity you.’ (Jane to Rochester)

    - Whilst she is lower than him in class, she is higher than him in status.

§ Rochester refers to Bertha as a ‘filthy burden’

    - Could again, be a post-colonial reading.

§ ‘to live familiarly with inferiors is degrading.’

    - This is ironic of Rochester because in the eyes of society, Jane is inferior to him.

§ ‘we were born to strive.’ (Jane)

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Chapter 28 – Ends up with Rivers family.

§Jane is stuck at ‘Whitcross’ which is ironically a cross-road. § ‘I have no relative but the universal mother: Nature.’ § ‘outcast as I was.’

   - This links Jane to Bertha and the idea that the latter is her antithesis.

§ ‘appeased by this hermit’s meal.’

   - Crossroads for Jane because she is currently stuck between classes. This chapter is the mid-point of her change and she must decide which way to go.

§ ‘I thank God.’

   - Jane falls on God at this point in the novel; Bronte was a clergyman’s daughter.

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Chapter 29 – Jane learns more about Rivers family.

§ ‘she would always be plain.’

    - Jane cannot change class; it’s not in her nature.

§ ‘Rivers’ are the antithesis of Reed family. § ‘you ought not to consider poverty a crime.’

    - Poverty cannot be considered wrong if caste exists.

§ At this point in the novel, Jane is ‘absolutely without home.’ § ‘found a paradise’ at Thornfield. § Jane is referred to as a ‘half-frozen bird’ and the sisters want to look after her.

   - Motif. 

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Chapter 30 – St John finds a position for Jane.

§ ‘we agreed equally well.’

   - There is equality within their relationship to a certain extent; if not involving wealth then at least within their character.

§ Jane’s ‘society gave them unusual pleasure.’ (Diane and Mary)

   - This highlights the differences in culture between Jane and the sisters, who should all be of equal class and status.

§ St John’s smile is ‘pleased and deeply gratified.’

   - He accepts her life as a governess and is grateful for it; juxtaposed to Rochester, who tried to change her.

§ Jane’s habits have become ‘refined.’

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Chapter 31 – Rosamond and St John.

§ ‘God directed me to the right choice.’

    - Links to historical/religious content and belief that the right choice is family and equality.

§ ‘The birds were singing their last strains.’

    - Again, motif. This suggests that independence and freedom is being lost.

§ ‘the power to make our own fate.’

    - This link with Bronte’s message that nobody is bound by gender, status etc.

§ ‘I saw his solemn eye melt with fire.’ (Jane about St John) § ‘She held out her hand. He just touched it.’

    - Unlike Jane and Rochester, this love is confined rather than forbidden.

§ ‘I was an outcast, a beggar, a vagrant; now I have acquaintance, a home, a business.’ 

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Chapter 32 – St John confesses love.

§ ‘Their amazement at me, my language..’ (pg. 442)

     -  Links to the idea of status being earned and a changing of feminism; girls are finding amazement in the non-stereotypical.

§ ‘I taught the elements of grammar, geography…’ (pg. 442)

    - Breaking stereotypes within childhood.

§ ‘she knew her power.’ (Rosamond)

    - Role reversal because Rosamond has power over St John.

§ ‘I would far rather be where I am than in any high family in the land.’

    - Content with the happiness of family; Jane has found the true meaning of love and happiness for herself.

§ St John acknowledges that Jane is ‘not timid’ and sees her defiance. § ‘my previous history, if known, would make a delightful romance.’

    - Ironic. 

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Chapter 33 – Jane’s true identity revealed.

§ ‘she is so good-natured.’ (St John about Rosamond)

   - This is why Jane cannot marry him; Rosamond is equal to St John, unlike her.

§ ‘the country has been scoured far and wide.’

   - Portrays the extent of Rochester’s care and love for Jane, which is often forgotten.

§ ‘’I! – rich?’

    - Jane can now finally be equal to Rochester in the eye’s of society.

§ ‘the connection complete’

    - Most importantly, Jane finally has a family.

§ ‘it would please and benefit me to have five thousand pounds; it would torment and oppress me to have twenty thousand.’ § ‘the place it would enable you to take in society.’

    - Jane doesn’t conform here and is more interested in family and happiness than expectations.

§ ‘I don’t want to marry, and never shall marry.’ § ‘I will not be regarded in the light of a mere money speculation.’

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Chapter 34 – Jane refuses marriage proposal.

§ ‘she can bear a mountain blast, or a shower’

    - St John wants to marry Jane because he believes that she would make a good wife, not because he loves her. This goes against everything Jane goes against and also breaks stereotypes based on historical/social context.

§ ‘you are docile, diligent, disinterested, faithful, constant and courageous.’

   - This highlights that St John does not fully understand Jane as a person and doesn’t recognise the ‘fire’ in her.

§ ‘if I join St John, I abandon half myself.’

    - Jane is not willing to give up her independence for a love that does not involve passion; with Rochester, she gains another half to herself, but with St John she loses.

§ ‘I scorn the counterfeit sentiment you offer.’

   - Exemplifies further that Jane believes in true love.

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shame not all points are fully shown due to lack of space, it's a really useful tool despite that


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