I can’t even remember what was the last time I read Jane Eyre. All I recall is 1997 A&E’s Ciarán Hinds and Samantha Morton, and 2006 BBC’s can’t-take-my-eyes-off-her-lips Ruth Wilson and sweet sweet Toby Stephens. As the highly anticipated 2011 film adaption approaches, I opened this much loved novel once again.
And noticed all the stuffs I didn’t notice before.
My first thought through the first few chapters – Jane Eyre is such a drama queen!
She is really annoying, yet the portrayal is honest and I can’t help but liking her (and her blunt honesty) eventually.
Below are some of my fav quotes, for its language or the emotions/psychology portrayed.
Here Jane describes the power Mr. Rochester has over her. What happiness a slight benevolence can grant…
… such a wealth of the power of communicating happiness, that to taste but of the crumbs he scattered to stray and stranger birds like me, was to feast genially.
Here Jane eloquently confesses her infatuation with Rochester.
He stood between me and every thought of religion, as an eclipse intervenes between man and the broad sun. I could not, in those days, see God for His creature: of whom I had made an idol.
“Do you love me, Jane? – repeat it.”
“I do, sir – I do, with my whole heart.”
“it is strange, but that sentence has penetrated my breast painfully. Why? I think because you said it with such an earnest, religious energy, and because your upward gaze at me now is the very sublime of faith, truth and devotion: it is too much as if some spirit were near me.”
a note to self.
to become the successor of these poor girls, he would one day regard me with the same feeling which now in his mind desecrated their memory. I did not give utterance to this conviction: it was enough to feel it. I impressed it on my heart, that it might remain there to serve me as aid in the time of trial.
men and their lies, aren’t they always the same?
I was wrong to attempt to deceive you; but I feared a stubbornness that exists in your character. I feared early instilled prejudice: I wanted to have you safe before hazarding confidences. This was cowardly.
…. I should have shown to you, not my resolution (that word is weak), but my resistless bent to love faithfully and well
What was I? In the midst of my pain of the heart and frantic effort of principle, I abhorred myself. I had no solace from self approbation: none even from self-respect. I had injured – wounded – left my master. I was hateful in my own eyes.
All men of talent, whether they be men of feeling or not; whether they be zealots, or aspirants, or despots – provided only they be sincere – have their sublime moments, when they subdue and rule.
The wondrous shock of feeling had come like the earthquakes which shook the foundations of Paul and Silas’s prison; it had opened the doors of the soul’s cell and loosed its bands – it had wakened it out of its sleep, whence it sprang trembling, listening, aghast.
His countenance reminded one of a lamp quenched, waiting to be re-lit – and alas! it was not himself that could now kindle the lustre of animated expression.
“Sacrifice! What do I sacrifice? Famine for food, expectation for content. To be privileged to put my arms round what I value – to press my lips to what I love – to repost one what I trust: is that to make a sacrifice? If so, then certainly I delight in sacrifice.”
To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking.
And there was a pleasure in my services, most full, most exquisite, even though sad, because he claimed these services without painful shame or damping humiliation. He loved me so truly, that he knew no reluctance in profiting by my attendance: he felt I loved him so fondly, that to yield that attendance was to indulge my sweetest wishes.
And I few lines I found true.
to each villain his own vice
Where there is energy to command well enough, obedience never fails.
To prolong doubt is to prolong hope.