Reading Jane Eyre

Life Lessons from Jane Eyre: Quotes About Love, Marriage & Independence

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me...”


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë teaches us so many lessons. In fact, as I flip through my 15-year-old copy of Jane Eyre, I can't help but notice almost every page is highlighted or marked with a nugget of wisdom I wanted to remember.

In celebration of this classic novel and our brand new Jane Eyre Bookmark (pictured above!), here are 20+ quotes from Jane Eyre. Some are about love and independence, others are about happiness and humanity. But they all offer important lessons we can carry throughout our lives. 

PS, if you're a lover of Jane Eyre we highly recommend Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys, which tells the story of Bertha, also known as "the madwoman in the attic." It's one of those must-read books that will make you look at the world a little differently. 

Jane Eyre Quotes About Love, Independence, and Life 

Independence & Self-Respect Quotes

1. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will.”

2. “I am not an angel," I asserted; "and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself.” 

3. “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”

4. "If you won’t let me live with you, I can build a house of my own close up to your door, and you may come and sit in my parlour when you want company of an evening."

5. “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.”

6. “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.”

Love & Marriage Quotes

7. “There is no happiness like that of being loved by your fellow-creatures, and feeling that your presence is an addition to their comfort." 

8. “I ask you to pass through life at my side – to be my second self, and best earthly companion.”

9. "Your mind is my treasure, and if it were broken, it would be my treasure still."

10. “Every atom of your flesh is as dear to me as my own: in pain and sickness it would still be dear.”

11. “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.”

12. "Reader, I married him." 

Important Life Quotes

13. “I would always rather be happy than dignified.”

14. “Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.”

15. “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."

16. “Night was come, and her planets were risen: a safe, still night: too serene for the companionship of fear. We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us; and it is in the unclouded night-sky, where His worlds wheel their silent course, that we read clearest His infinitude, His omnipotence, His omnipresence.”

17. "Oh! That gentleness! How far more potent is it than force!"

18. "There would be recesses in my mind which would be only mine, to which he never came; and sentiments growing there, fresh and sheltered, which his austerity could never blight, nor his measured warrior-march trample down: but as his wife—at his side always, and always restrained, and always checked—forced to keep the fire of my nature continually low, to compel it to burn inwardly and never utter a cry, though the imprisoned flame consumed vital after vital—this would be unendurable."

19. “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.” 

20. “What necessity is there to dwell on the Past, when the Present is so much surer — the Future so much brighter?”

21. “Your will shall decide your destiny.” 

Read more: 16 Swoon-worthy quotes about love from YA books

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Hi Daniel, thank you so much for catching that – you’re right. I changed it above to a quote from chapter 34 that reflects a similar sentiment. Thank you for your comment!


What is the chapter and context of #18? I can’t seem to find that quote about crying in the book.

Daniel Eastman

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