There’s too much wisdom in this novel to condense it down to one or two single documents, so here is Part Three of the priceless life advice contracted from Charolette Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
1 – Never let your pride make your decisions for you.
“Her feelings are concentrated in one – pride; and that needs humbling.” Mr. Rochester (Chapter 24)
“I have not much pride under such circumstances; I would always rather be happy than dignified, and I ran after him…” Narrator on St. John (Chapter 34)
Pride can be a dangerous trait when it comes to happiness, contentment, and closure. It’s important to know when to swallow the stubbornness of pride and move forward with life.
2 – Trust your gut.
“…cease to mistrust yourself…” St. John (Chapter 34)
“To have yielded then would have been an error of principle; to have yielded now would have been an error of judgement.” Narrator (Chapter 35)
“…he surrounded me with his arm, almost as if he loved me. I say almost – I knew the difference – for I had felt what it was to be loved…” Narrator (Chapter 35)
Those gut feelings in moments of pressure are often protective. Sometimes it’s best to trust those feelings instead of overthinking the situation.
3 – Even those we have high respect for are only human.
“…I felt his imperfection, and took courage. I was with an equal, one with whom I might argue…” Narrator (Chapter 34)
“When I remembered how far I had once been admitted to his confidence, I could hardly comprehend his present frigidity.” Jane on St. John (Chapter 34)
It’s normal to be nervous or to act differently around those of socially higher status – a professor, boss, doctor, etc. Yet at the end of the day, those people are only human, too. They may deserve and receive our respect, but they should still be treated as fellow humans.
4 – Know your own worth and value. Stand firm in your feelings.
“A woman who could betray me for such a rival was not worth contending for; she deserved only scorn; less however, than I, who had been her dupe.” Mr. Rochester (Chapter 15)
“…so don’t make him the object of your fine feelings, your raptures, agonies, and so forth. He is not of your order; keep to your caste; and be too self respecting to lavish the love of the whole heart, soul, and strength, where such a gift is not wanted and would be despised.” Narrator (Chapter 17)
“But I was not jealous, or very rarely – the nature of the pain I suffered could not be explained by that word. Miss Ingram was a mark beneath jealousy; she was too inferior to excite the feeling.” Narrator (Chapter 18)
“…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.” The gypsy (Mr. Rochester) quoting Jane’s personality (Chapter 19)
“A sneer, however, whether covert or open, had now no longer that power over me it once possessed…” Narrator (Chapter 21)
“The fact was, I had other things to think about…pains and pleasures so much more acute and exquisite had been exited than any it was in their power to inflict or bestow – that their airs gave me no concern either for good or bad.” Narrator (Chapter 21)
“I’ll promise you anything, sir, that I think I am likely to perform.” Jane Eyre (Chapter 21)
“Jewels for Jane Eyre sounds unnatural and strange; I would rather not have them.” Jane (Chapter 24)
“…and I don’t call you handsome, sir, though I love you most dearly – far too dearly to flatter you. Don’t flatter me.” Jane (Chapter 24)
“…don’t send for the jewels, and don’t crown me with roses; You might as well put a border of gold lace round that plain pocket-handkerchief you have there.” Jane (Chapter 24)
“…I like rudeness a great deal better than flattery. I had rather be a thing than an angel.” Jane (Chapter 24)
“Seek one elsewhere than in me, St. John…” Jane (Chapter 34)
“…if I bid you do what you thought wrong, there would no light-footed running, no neat-handed alacrity, no lively glance and animated complection. My friend would then turn to me quiet and pale, and would say, ‘No, sir; that is impossible; I cannot do it, because it is wrong,’ and would become immutable as a fixed star. Well, you, too, have power over me, and may injure me…” Mr. Rochester (Chapter 20)
If any situation or person leads you to question your beliefs and who you are, do not take it lightly. Stand strong in the way that you feel about things and don’t let others question your integrity. Some people deserve our love, and some do not. Some people will help us learn, and others will help us learn who not to be.
Self respect goes a long way in keeping you happy. Don’t let others make you question who you are or the value you know you possess.
5 – Move on when necessary.
“…what necessity is there to dwell on the Past, when the Present is so much surer – the Future so much brighter?” Mr. Rochester (Chapter 27)
“…I must seek another interest in life to replace the one lost…” Jane to herself (Chapter 34)
“…I see the necessity of departure; and it is like looking on the necessity of death.” Jane Eyre (Chapter 23)
“It cannot be too early to commence the task I have to fulfil.” Jane to herself about leaving (Chapter 27)
“He would send for me in the morning; I should be gone.” Jane/Narrator (Chapter 27)
Moving on and letting go are possibly the most difficult actions throughout our lives. Yet sometimes, it’s the best option for ourselves in order to regain sanity and happiness. Though it may ache and burn the heart, over time it becomes obvious that moving on is the best decision.
6 – Say what’s on your mind and release those feelings from burdening your heart.
“Reserved people often really need the frank discussion of their sentiments and griefs more than the expansive.” Narrator (Chapter 32)
“…it is fully as much a matter of feeling as of conscience. I must indulge my feelings, I so seldom have had an opportunity of doing so.” Jane (Chapter 33)
Bottling things up will make a person absolutely insane until finally the thoughts explode in destructive ways. It’s far better to let out the feelings as they trouble you. Holding things in will stress you out, so speak up and release the tension.
7 – Music and Books can solve many problems.
“…the world book acted as a transient stimulus…” Narrator (Chapter 3)
“I soon forgot storm in music.” Narrator (Chapter 33)
There aren’t too many stressors that can’t be drowned out by amazing songs and awesome reads. Whether you are in a sad, angry, frustrated, or bored mood, there’s typically a song or novel close by that can ease the mind.
8 – Other people, for whatever reasons, just think differently than you.
“…for acting in conformity to ideas and principles instilled into them, doubtless, from their childhood…they had reasons for holding them such as I could not fathom.” Narrator on Miss Ingram marrying Mr. Rochester for pride and money (Chapter 18)
Sometimes it depends on how you’re raised, other times it’s a result of stressful events, and often it’s a result of society’s influence – the point is, right or wrong, we all have our own opinions on the world and how it should be. You can argue for years with someone with differing views, but it’s often a complete waste of time.
Respect and understand that others will always have different ways of thinking. We will never agree on everything. Take it for what it is, respect your own beliefs, and you will be at peace.
9 – Enjoy natural beauties of the world.
“Turn back; on so lovely a night it is a shame to sit in the house; and surely no one can wish to go to bed while sunset is thus at meeting with moonrise.” Mr. Rochester (Chapter 23)
Those cloudless moonlit nights are a simple beauty of nature meant to be enjoyed by us all. We so frequently ignore and disregard the simple wonder that the skies and earth provide us with. Take the time to admire the exquisite earth we take for granted.
10 – Sometimes it’s best to keep things to yourself.
“It is far better to endure patiently a smart which nobody feels but yourself, than to commit a hasty action whose evil consequences will extend to all connected with you.” Helen Burns (Chapter 6)
“Silence composes the nerves.” Narrator (Chapter 15)
“You are no talking fool; say nothing about it.” Mr. Rochester (Chapter 15)
It’s good to let things out if they’re eating at you, but always be wise in letting the world see your every thought and plan. We live in a world today that is quick to scream and shout opinions. It can feel pretty good to be that one person in the background, observing and keeping the thoughts inside.
Living in a loud world, many times it’s best to enjoy silent moments. The loudness of society will never listen to wisdom anyway, so share your thoughts with those who will listen, instead of the boisterous voices that only seek attention.
That’s ten more pieces of valuable advice I’ve heard in the pages of Jane Eyre. I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you ever so much for reading it.
Carly Twelve ^_^