Saturday, 19 September 2015


I was 14 the first time I read Jane Eyre, and I don't remember falling head over heels in love with it. I think that's why I didn't give it another chance, and I probably wouldn't have if it wasn't compulsory reading for my Victorian Fictions module this year. I was even a little disappointed to see it on the reading list, but all this stuff is entirely irrelevant now because I finished Jane Eyre this morning and am  officially 100% in love with it. 

If you like reading classics and haven't read Jane Eyre, I suggest you do so ASAP! And if you think classics are devastatingly boring and stuffy then yeah, this probably isn't the book for you (ALTHOUGH it is soooo much more interesting, intense, and exciting than Austen's novels, the Bronte sisters are quite fab)

But whether you love reading classics or not, you may still enjoy this list of some of my favourite parts of Jane Eyre. I had to keep a highlighter with me at all times when reading this novel because I so often fell in love with a certain sentence (or more often a whole paragraph) that I couldn't NOT highlight it! 

So out of the 447 pages of Jane Eyre, these are some of the bits I loved most:

1) '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, too 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.' (p.111)

2) 'I had a theoretical reverence and homage for beauty, elegance, gallantry, fascination; but had I met those qualities incarnate in masculine shape, I should have known instinctively that they neither had nor could have sympathy with anything in me, and should have shunned them as one would fire, lightning, or anything else that bright but antipathetic.' (p.115)

3) "Know that in the course of your future life you will often find yourself elected the involuntary confidante of your acquaintances' secrets: people will instinctively find out, as I have done, that it is not your forte to tell of yourself, but to listen while others talk of themselves; they will feel, too, that you listen with no malevolent scorn of their indiscretion, but with a kind of innate sympathy..." (p. 137)

4) "The human and fallible should not arrogate a power with which the divine and perfect alone can be safely entrusted." (p. 139)

5) "You are afraid - your self-love dreads a blunder." (p. 139)

6) " time, I think you will be natural with me, as I find it impossible to be conventional with you; and then your looks and movements will have more vivacity and variety than they dare offer now. 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." (p. 140)

7)"But I tell you - and you may mark my words - you will come some day to a craggy pass in the channel, where the whole of life's stream will be broken up into whirl and tumult, foam and noise: either you will be dashed to atoms on crag points, or lifted up and borne on by some master-wave into a calmer current - as I am now." (p. 143)

8) 'And was Mr Rochester now ugly in my eyes? No, reader: gratitude and many associations, all pleasurable and genial, made his face the object I best liked to see; his presence in a room was more cheering than the brightest fire.' (p. 148)

9) 'I cannot deny that I grieved for his grief, whatever that was, and would have given much to assuage it.' (p. 148)

10) 'I knew the pleasure of vexing and soothing him by turns; it was one I chiefly delighted in, and a sure instinct always prevented me from going too far...' (p. 157)

11) 'I pronounced judgement to this effect: That a greater fool than Jane Eyre had never breathed the breath of life: that a more fantastic idiot had never surfeited herself on sweet lies, and swallowed poison as if it were nectar.' (p. 160)

12) 'it is madness in all to let a secret love kindle within, 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.' (p. 160)

13) 'be too self-respecting to lavish the love of the whole heart, soul, and strength, where such a gift is not wanted and would be despised.' (p. 162)

14) 'my eyes were drawn involuntarily to his face; I could not keep their lids under control: they would rise, and the irids would fix on him. I looked, and had an acute pleasure in looking - a precious yet poignant pleasure; pure gold, with a steely point of agony; a pleasure like what the thirst-perishing man might feel who knows the well to which he has crept is poisoned, yet stops and drinks divine draughts nevertheless.' (p. 173) 

15) 'and yet, while I breathe and think, I must love him.' (p. 174) 

16) 'I still felt as a wanderer on the face of the earth; but I experienced firmer trust in myself and my own powers, and less withering dread of oppression. The gaping wound of my wrongs, too, was not quite healed; and the flame of resentment extinguished.' (p. 226) 

17) 'But what is so headstrong as youth? What is so blind as inexperience?' (p. 241)

18) "it strikes me with terror and anguish to feel I absolutely must be torn from you for ever. I see the necessity of departure; and it is looking like looking on the necessity of death." (p. 251)

19) "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will..." (p. 252)

20) 'I looked at my love: that feeling which was my master's - which he had created; it shivered in my heart, like a suffering child in a cold cradle: sickness and anguish had seized it; it could not seek Mr Rochester's arms - it could not derive warmth from his breast.' (p. 294)

21) 'The whole consciousness of my life lorn, my love lost, my hope quenched, my faith death-struck, swayed full and mighty above me in one sullen mass. That bitter hour cannot be described...' (p/ 294)

22) 'Life, however, was yet in my possession, with all its requirements, and pains, and responsibilities. The burden must be carried; the want provided for; the suffering endured; the responsibility fulfilled.' (p. 321)

23) '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.' (p. 337) 

24) 'I could never rest in communication with strong, discreet, and refined minds, whether male or female, till I had passed the outworks of conventional reserve, and crossed the threshold of confidence, and won a place by their heart's very hearthstone.' (p. 370)

25) 'I have not much pride under such circumstances: I would always rather be happy than dignified...' (p. 405)

26) 'because I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine. No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh.' (p. 446)

I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE THINKING. It's probably something along the lines of 'OMG Alliyah you basically quoted the whole book.'

If that's the case I'm sure you'll be surprised to know that these aren't even ALL THE HIGHLIGHTED PASSAGES. My love for great prose is so real. 

Have you guys read Jane Eyre? Are any of the quotes I mentioned one of your favourites? What other passages do you love? Also, what is your all time favourite book quote EVER?!


  1. You know what I've never read Jane Eyre. It is one of those books that I always think I should have read, but sometimes I worry that I won't like it, sometimes classics can be a struggle!
    All these quotes make me want to give it a go, I will add it to my 'to read' list! x

    Bethan Likes

    1. classics can definitely be a struggle especially if you're not used to them, but jane eyre is definitely worth a try! Behind all the difficult language and seemingly unnecessary dialogue/descriptions is a really nice love story/tale of one woman's self-empowerment :)

  2. OH OH OH!!! Jane Eyre (totally just mistyped that as Janr Eye!) is my FAVOURITE NOVEL of them all (well, one of... I have four or five favourite novels!). I need to do a post like this - it's such a lovely idea! Oh, and I'm totally with you on the Bronte/Austen argument: people might complain that classics are boring, but at least things HAPPEN in Bronte novels. Everything by Jane Austen basically follows the exact same formula, and that IS boring.

    Anyway, quote 19 will ALWAYS be my favourite. I think I'd like it tattooed on my ankle, because it just sums up my desire for freedom. URGH SO PRETTY.

    Beth x

  3. Also, that photo is beautiful. You're so talented, Alliyah!

    Beth x

    1. OMG THANK YOU FOR ALL THE NICE COMPLIMENTS you are the sweetest :') Austen's great for a comfort read but honestly her novels cannot compare to the intensity, and overall genius of the bronte novels!
      Quote 19 has literally made it into the book of most legendary and relevant quotes of all times (if such a book existed, which it totally should)

      Thanks for stopping by Beth! <3

  4. I read it somewhere in high school and I remember loving it! But I will have to read it again though. I remember the feeling and the story, but not all of the details that made me love it so much. Have you seen the Jane Eyre TV series (from the BBC)? It's sooooooo good!

    1. I think I saw the BBC series a few years ago! Definitely have to re-watch it soon.

  5. I adore Jane Eyre and I adore this post. It is tied for my favourite classic with Little Women. It was so much better than I could have imagined.

    1. Thanks so much! Jane Eyre is definitely a pleasant surprise, probably because it's quite ahead of its time with the feminism aspect, which allows us to connect with it more! I read Little Women in my early teens and found it a little difficult to get through BUT I was very young so I should probably give it another try!


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