Jane Eyre


Key Quotes

1. “God is a friend of the poor orphan child.”—chapter 3

This line is sung by Bessie at Gateshead Hall when Jane is just ten years old. It causes Jane to cry out of sorrow for her plight, since there is in her life none of the friendship of which Bessie sings. Bessie actually does become Jane’s friend just before Jane’s departure for Lowood. The line foreshadows the support that Jane will find at Lowood in the figure of Helen Burns and Miss Temple, both of whom possess names that signify something holy and spiritually zealous.

2. “Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine.”—chapter 4

This line is narrated by Jane after she finally makes friends with Bessie. She has always appreciated Bessie’s finer attributes: her voice, songs, and ability to tell good stories. Now, as Jane talks to Bessie like an adult and truly does begin to show maturity, she realizes that she might have been partly to blame for Bessie’s inconsistent attitude toward her. They make peace and enjoy a sense of fellowship. Thus, Jane remarks that even in the midst of the gloom of her childhood, she sometimes saw glimpses of sunshine.

3. “Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you.”—chapter 6

This is the basis of Helen Burns’ Christian creed, and these lines are hers as she tries to explain her patience in the face of injustice and severity to Jane. The ethos is foreign to Jane, and to Jane’s mind it is an unnatural one. Jane does not like to suffer injustice and believes it that should be combated whenever and wherever found. Helen is a source of wonder for her upon arrival at Lowood and her introduction to a new way of life.

4. “Her grave is in Brocklebridge churchyard; for fifteen years after her death it was only covered by a grassy mound; but now a grey marble tablet marks the spot, inscribed with her name, and the word...

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Essays About Jane Eyre