wisdom from the classics: jane eyre

11:31 AM




I probably read this book much too early but in a way I'm glad because it made such a searing impression on me. Never before had I heard someone so perfectly describe the inner turmoil that goes on inside our little minds. Even at a young age I remember feeling melancholy and reading this book was like climbing inside a dark rain cloud and sobbing until until your eyes had been emptied of their tears. Re-reading it as an adult I was struck by what an incredible book this is for little girls - to help mold independence of thought, confidence and a strong spirit.

And in case any of you are struggling with what to write in your Valentine's day card there is so much inspiration in the pages of this stunning book:

“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

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

“If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.”

“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.”

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

“Prejudices, it is well known, are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilised by education: they grow there, firm as weeds among stones.”

“Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.”

“I remembered that the real world was wide, and that a varied field of hopes and fears, of sensations and excitments, awaited those who had the courage to go forth into it's expanse, to seek real knowledge of life amidst it's perils.”

“It is hard work to control the workings of inclination and turn the bent of nature; but that it may be done, I know from experience. God has given us, in a measure, the power to make our own fate: and when our energies seem to demand a sustenance they cannot get--when our will strains after a path we may not follow--we need neither starve from inanition, not stand still in despair: we have but to seek another nourishment for the mind, as strong as the forbidden fruit it longed to taste--and perhaps purer; and to hew out for the adventurous foot a road as direct and broad as the one Fortune has blocked up against us, if rougher than it.”

Charlotte Brontë

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