Recently, I finished re-reading my favorite book, Jane Eyre, written by Charlotte Bronte under the pseudonym of Currer Bell. While reading, several quotes and excerpts stood out for me. I would like to share them with you now.
“The words in these introductory pages…gave significance to the rock standing up alone in a sea of billow and spray; to the broken boat stranded on a desolate coast; to the cold and ghostly moon glancing through bars of cloud at a wreck just sinking.
I cannot tell what sentiment haunted the quiet solitary church-yard, with its inscribed headstone; its gate, its two trees, its low horizon, girdled by a broken wall, and its newly-risen crescent, attesting the hour of eventide.
The two ships becalmed on a torpid sea, I believed to be marine phantoms” (JE 3).
What talent is written there in those words. What amazing ability to make you see the mental images right along with the character.
“His changes of mood did not offend me, because I saw that I had nothing to do with their alternation; the ebb and flow depended on causes quite disconnected with me” (JE128).
This particular quote made its way into my consciousness because I believe that there is an important lesson that I need to learn. If someone is short-tempered and angry towards me, I accept their fault as my own and take it that I must have done something to make them act in that manner. This is not a good attribute. Each person is responsible for the actions of themselves and no one else. Although it may be difficult, it is important to reject responsibility of the other person’s behaviour and be accountable to God for your own behaviour.
“‘Do you wonder that I avow this to you? Know, that in the course of your future life you will often find yourself elected the involuntary confidant of your acquaintances’ secrets: people will instinctively find out, as I have done, that it is not your fate to tell of yourself, but to listen with no malevolent scorn of their indiscretion, but with a kind of innate sympathy; not the less comforting and encouraging because it is unobtrusive in its manifestations’” (JE 136).
Although, this compliment when said to someone is very flattering, it is important that those who are always listening to others find their voice as well. It is easy to blend in, to become the quiet friend in a group, but that is not always a good thing. Find your voice, share your thoughts and problems to your friends; if they are a true friend, they want to hear what you have to say.
“He made me love him without looking at me” (JE 176).
Who has not felt just so?
“‘Turn back: on so lovely a night it is a shame to sit in the house; and surely no one can wish to go to bed while sunset is thus at meeting with moonrise’” (JE 254).
An absolutely beautiful piece of imagery.
“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” (JE 280).
In the line, “I could not…see God for his creature” is an absolutely tragic circumstance, and yet how common. God, in His love gives you a present, the deepest desire of your heart; and is in turn replaced by this gift. We must all be careful to remember from whom are gifts come.
Although Jane Eyre may have been written many years ago in 1846, its morality is still important with the relevance it holds on today. It is my favorite novel, perhaps because it was my first real book, and so, I encourage everyone to pick up a hard-back edition (There truly is a difference in the experience), crawl into bed, and absorb the words. Become a part of the story, and let it become a part of you.
Have a Blessed Day,