“I would always rather be happy than dignified” (Bronte 613).
In this quote Jane is speaking to St. John, she felt no love towards him though she felt a lot of friendship. Jane was poor, she was not bound to be socially distinguished and dignified, so instead she searched for a greater purpose and meaning in her life. Her ultimate goal was to be happy.
“the more he bought me, the more my cheek burned with a sense of annoyance and degradation” (Bronte 236).
Jane is not materialistic, the fact that Rochester is treating her like a doll and a possession by buying her excessive amounts of jewels and silk overwhelms Jane because she simply wants for him to understand she appreciates the little things rather than the opulent.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will” (Bronte 376).
Jane in this quote is speaking to Mr. Rochester when she is leaving him. This exhibits a feminist attitude in the novel because Jane shows she doesn’t need a man to be happy, she can make her own future and can be happy being by herself.
“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself” (Bronte 471).
In this quotation Jane is saying the less friends she has, the more sustained she is, personally I think that this quote speaks to Jane saying she will never change to impress others. She is her own person her own attitude and her own being and by isolating herself she can respect herself for who she is.
“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”. (Bronte 196).
Just because Mr.Rochester has seen more of the world than Jane, is in a higher class than Jane, and is a man he assumes that he will be able to have higher authority over her just like his other mistresses, Jane proves that his social equity means everything to her and she cannot respect a man who can not respect her. (Class, age, does not matter or impress her)
“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” (297).
The gypsy says this about Jane. Jane proves her independence, even if she needs to be alone her whole life to be happy and to have a chance to feel bliss she will do so. Once again Jane realizes that even if she needs to live her life in solidarity to be happy she will because she will not change to please anyone.
“Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! – I have as much soul as you, – and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!” (Bronte 375).
This quote is basically you cannot judge a book by its cover, generally the idea is that if a person is not beautiful on the outside then they must not have a whole lot working for them on the inside. Jane shows Rochester just because she is not beautiful does not mean she cannot leave him and live a fulfilling life on her owns if god had gifted her with good looks and money she wouldn’t have had to work so hard to get the things she wants.
“It does good to no woman to be flattered by a man who does not intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it” (Bronte 235).
In this quote the point is to say that if someone is led on by a man who does not intend to marry her, all it does is instill false hope which can leave a flame alive while no one truly loves her.
Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre exhibits the characteristics of a feminist novel due to the presence of a willful female protagonist who must overcome the obstacles of poverty and familial abandonment to determine her identity, and find her purpose.
“I am not an angel,” I asserted; “and I will not be one till I die: I will be myself” (Bronte 385).
In this quote Jane is saying she will be herself until the day she dies, she will not change to please anyone.
“Conventionality is not morality” (Bronte 4).
Just because someone doesn’t have the conventional outlook on life, does not mean they are not moral. Those who are different can inspire others to be more, the conventional way is not always the right way.
“Your will shall decide your destiny” (Bronte 376).
Jane is saying we decide our own destiny, whether it be with or without a man, with high social class or low social class, whether rich or poor. We decide who we are going to be and how we are going to live our lives.