Jane Eyre: Top Ten Quotes

1) "I resisted all the way: a new thing for me." (Chapter 2).  Jane says this as Bessie is taking her to be locked in the red-room after she had fought back when John Reed struck her.  For the first time Jane is asserting her rights, and this action leads to her eventually being sent to Lowood School.
2) "That night, on going to bed, I forgot to prepare in imagination the Barmecide supper, of hot roast potatoes, or white bread and new milk, with which I was wont to amuse my inward cravings.  I feasted instead on the spectacle of ideal drawings, which I saw in the dark - all the work of my own hands." (Chapter 8).  Jane writes of this after she has become comfortable and has excelled at Lowood.  She is no longer dwelling on the lack of food or other material things, but is more concerned with her expanding mind and what she can do.
3) "While I paced softly on, the last sound I expected to hear in so still a region, a laugh, struck my ears.  It was a curious laugh - distinct, formal, mirthless.  I stopped" (Chapter 11).  Jane hears this laugh on her first full day at Thornfield Hall.  It is her first indication that something is going on there that she does not know about.
4) "Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags" (Chapter 12).  Jane thinks this as she looks out of the third story at the view from Thornfield, wishing she could see and interact with more of the world.
5) "The ease of his manner freed me from painful restraint; the friendly frankness, as correct as cordial, with which he treated me, drew me to him" (Chapter 15).  Jane says this after Rochester has become friendlier with her after he has told her the story of Adele's mother.  She is soon in love with him and goes on to say, "And was Mr. Rochester now ugly in my eyes? No, reader: gratitude and many associates, all pleasurable and genial, made his face the object I best liked to see; his presence in a room was more cheering than the brightest fire" (Chapter 15).
6) "I knew," he continued, "you would do me good in some way, at some time: I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you; their expression and smile did not.strike delight to my inmost heart so for nothing" (Chapter 15) After the fire Rochester tries to get Jane to stay with him longer and he says this to her.  This is one of the reasons that Jane feels he fancies her.
7) "I had not intended to love him; the reader knows I had wrought hard to extirpate from my soul the germs of love there detected; and now, at the first renewed view of him, they spontaneously revived, great and strong! He made me love him without looking at me" (Chapter 17).  Jane says this when she sees Rochester again after his absence.  She had tried to talk herself out of loving him, but it was impossible.  This is also an example of one of the times that Jane addresses the reader.
8) "In the deep shade, at the farther end of the room, a figure ran backwards and forwards.  What it was, whether beast or human being, one could not, at first sight tell: it groveled, seemingly on all fours: it snatched and growled like some strange wild animal: but it was covered with clothing and a quantity of dark, grizzled hair wild as a mane, hid its head and face" (Chapter 26).  This is what Rochester, Mason, and Jane see when they return from the stopped wedding and go up to the third story.  This is the first time Jane really sees Rochester's wife.
9) "Gentle reader, may you never feel what I then felt? May your eyes never shed such stormy, scalding, heart-wrung tears as poured from mine.  May you never appeal to Heaven in prayers so hopeless and so agonized as in that hour left my lips; for never may you, like me, dread to be the instrument of evil to what you wholly love" (Chapter 27).  Jane says this as she is quietly leaving Thornfield in the early morning.  She knows that she is bringing grief upon herself and Rochester, but she knows she must leave.
10) "Reader, I married him." This quote, the first sentence in the last chapter, shows another example of Jane addressing the reader, and ties up the end of the story.  Jane is matter-of-fact in telling how things turned out.