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Jane Eyre Quotes: Volume 2

Instructor: Sarah Griffin

Sarah teaches college English, and she holds a master's degree in English studies.

In this lesson, we will join Jane on her quest for a fulfilled life by taking a close look at key quotes from the second portion of the book. Volume 2, however, will not quench our thirst for answers, as a cliffhanger awaits us.

Jane Eyre Volume 2: A Summary

Volume 2 of Jane Eyre picks up right where Volume 1 left us in the continuation of Jane's coming-of-age story. Another word commonly used to refer to a coming-of-age story is bildungsroman. At the start of Volume 2, Jane is keen on meeting with Mr. Rochester again, as her feelings for him have begun to deepen into something like love. Though Mr. Rochester is also falling for Jane, he has plans to tease Jane and bring out her jealous side before any declarations of love are made. Later on, Mr. Rochester pretends that he is engaged to a wealthy woman named Blanche Ingram. Jane can't take it anymore, and she confesses her love aloud to Mr. Rochester. He responds by proposing marriage to Jane.

The night before her wedding to Mr. Rochester, Jane wakes to see a crazy-looking woman tearing her wedding veil in two.

Bertha Mason tears the veil Jane is supposed to wear for her wedding.
veil

It is revealed during their wedding ceremony that Mr. Rochester is already married to a woman named Bertha Mason. The real Mrs. Rochester is completely insane -- a woman that Mr. Rochester was tricked into marrying before her madness became obvious -- and has been locked in a room at the top of the house. And now, Jane is forced to figure out ... what happens next.

Let's take an in-depth look at three of Jane's quotes from Volume 2 that show us her nature as a character and how her relationship with Mr. Rochester affects the arc of her coming-of-age story.

Quote #1:

''It little mattered whether my curiosity irritated him; I knew the pleasure of vexing and soothing him in turns; it was one I chiefly delighted in, and a sure instinct always prevented me from going too far: beyond the verge of provocation I never ventured; on the extreme brink I liked well to try my skill. Retaining every minute form of respect, every propriety of my station, I could still meet him in argument without fear or uneasy restraint: this suited both him and me.''

Though she is a governess in his house, Jane is confident in her position with Mr. Rochester, and is able to push him to the limits with teasing banter through a pattern of alternately vexing, which means annoying, and soothing. In a word, Jane and Mr. Rochester flirt. It could be said that they flirt a little aggressively.

What is truly remarkable about this quote from Jane is her self-confidence. She is atypical for a woman by her society's standards. She has raised herself from orphan to governess, a feat that was difficult, especially for a woman. Not only is she a governess in a respectable house, she is able to assert herself boldly in conversation with her master time and again, and he reciprocates. This may seem subtle by our own standards today, but Jane's fierce independence and confidence make her into our beloved heroine.

Quote #2:

''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. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: -- it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, as we stood at God's feet, equal -- as we are!''

This quote is a crucial piece to the climax of Volume 2. Here, we see Jane speaking out loud to Mr. Rochester. Usually, we see Jane conduct her bravest contemplation within the safety of her own mind. But Mr. Rochester has purposefully provoked Jane's jealous side by pretending to be engaged to Blanche Ingram to extract Jane's confession of love for him.

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