Thank you, Charlotte Brontë, for creating a masterpiece full of wisdom. Here are 12 lines from Jane Eyre that provide incredible life lessons:
“The charm of adventure sweetens that sensation, the glow of pride warms it; but then the throb of fear disturbs it;” Narrator (Chapter 11)
We all want and need new experiences, but are often too afraid to try. Put fear aside and just go for it. It’s okay to be afraid; it’s not okay to let fear prevent opportunities.
“…I believed in the existence of other and more vivid kinds of goodness, and what I believed in I wished to behold.” Narrator (Chapter 12)
Don’t settle. If you know what you want and what you deserve from others and the world, never stop until you find it. It’s out there somewhere.
“It is 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.” Narrator (Chapter 12)
Feeling guilty about wanting to go out into the world to learn and experience new cultures, lifestyles, and careers is unreasonable. Do what you feel is right for you.
“…one should consider all before pronouncing an opinion as to its nature.” Jane Eyre (Chapter 13)
Don’t judge or condemn when not all the facts are known.
“His changes of mood did not offend me, because I saw that I had nothing to do with their alteration; the ebb and flow depended on causes quite disconnected with me.” Narrator (Chapter 14)
The actions of others are not your fault. Don’t take the actions of others personally.
“…remorse is the poison of life.” Mr. Rochester “Repentance is said to be its cure, sir.” Jane Eyres (Chapter 14)
Make amends for things that you are sorry about.
“I will break obstacles to happiness, to goodness…” Mr. Rochester (Chapter 15)
Nothing can stand in the way of creating a better life for ourselves.
“…convinced me that there must be arguments against its general adoption of which I was quite ignorant, otherwise I felt sure all the world would act as I wished to act.” Narrator (Chapter 18)
Whatever you believe in – whether it’s involving religion, culture, finance, music, etc. – always respect what others believe in. They have their reasons, you have your reasons, and though we see the world differently, we can continue to be courteous to one another.
“…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.” The gypsy (Mr. Rochester) quoting Jane’s personality (Chapter 19)
Being alone is not a bad thing if it means avoiding people who are toxic. We can all be content within our own presence.
“…my harvest must be in smiles, in endearments…” The gypsy (Mr. Rochester) (Chapter 19)
Making others smile and connecting with friends is more valuable than money.
“…a wanderer’s repose or a sinner’s reformation should never depend on a fellow-creature.” Jane Eyre (Chapter 20)
Don’t look to others to make yourself feel better about regrets or feelings. This must come from within.
“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 now quite healed, and the flame of resentment extinguished.” Narrator (Chapter 21)
Once you feel good and confident about yourself, nothing is impossible.