by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre The Home Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Volume.Chapter.Paragraph)
Probably, if I had lately left a good home and kind parents, this would have been the hour when I should most keenly have regretted the separation: that wind would then have saddened my heart; this obscure chaos would have disturbed my peace: as it was I derived from both a strange excitement, and reckless and feverish, I wished the wind to howl more wildly, the gloom to deepen to darkness, and the confusion to rise to clamour. (1.6.14)
Jane claims that, because she came from an unpleasant home where she felt unwelcome, she is excited rather than depressed by her situation at Lowood, symbolized here by the windy chaos outside the window.
We’re not sure, however, if we should believe her; even though her life at Gateshead was unpleasant, any change is distressing, especially for a child, and maybe she is mourning for the home she had before, even if it wasn’t too great. Jane’s first comment on her homelessness makes us realize that she’s not always a completely honest narrator, and we might have to dig deep to figure out her real feelings.
Well has Solomon said:—"Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith."
I would not now have exchanged Lowood with all its privations, for Gateshead and its daily luxuries. (1.8.60-61)
Despite the fact that she doesn’t get enough to eat at Lowood and can be mocked and maligned by Mr. Brocklehurst, Jane prefers it to the red velvet curtains and cruelty of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead. Home, for Jane, isn’t just a roof over her head; it’s being accepted for who she is and having the opportunity to better herself.
On a dark, misty, raw morning in January, I had left a hostile roof with a desperate and embittered heart—a sense of outlawry and almost of reprobation—to seek the chilly harbourage of Lowood: that bourne so far away and unexplored. The same hostile roof now again rose before me: my prospects were doubtful yet; and I had yet an aching heart. 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. (2.6.114)
Returning to Gateshead after she has been at Thornfield for six months and Lowood for eight years before that, Jane doesn’t have any sense of homecoming—but at least she no longer feels bitter about her childhood experience with the Reeds. She is able to see her aunt’s house again without fear, even though she’ll never feel like it was really a home.