Essential Quotes by Character: Jane Eyre

Essential Passage 1: Chapter 1

“You have no business to take our books; you are a dependent, mamma says; you have no money; your father left you none; you ought to beg, and not to live here with gentlemen's children like us, and eat the same meals we do, and wear clothes at our mamma's expense. Now I'll teach you to rummage my book-shelves: for they are mine; all the house belongs to me, or will do in a few years. Go and stand by the door, out of the way of the mirror and the windows.”


Jane Eyre, orphaned as an infant, had been reared by Mr. Reed, her uncle. Before he died, Mr. Reed made his wife promise to treat Jane as her own child. Mrs. Reed reluctantly agreed to do so, but immediately disregarded her promise and considered Jane an unwelcome burden on the household. The Reed children, especially John, go out of their way to be abusive to their cousin. On the occasion related in the above passage, Jane has taken refuge in a curtained nook, where she hides with a favorite book away from John’s meanness. However, he finds her and berates her for daring to touch the Reeds’ property, including their books. He belittles her position as an orphan, penniless and dependent on the charity of relatives. He makes sure she understands what a great financial and familial burden she is, one which he intends to rectify when he comes of age.

Essential Passage 2: Chapter 4

Mrs. Reed's hands still lay on her work inactive: her eye of ice continued to dwell freezingly on mine.
“What more have you to say?” she asked rather in the tone in which a person might address an opponent of adult age than such as is ordinarily used to a...

(The entire section is 1547 words.)