Jane Eyre

by: Charlotte Brontë

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To this crib I always took my doll. Human beings must love something, and, in the dearth of worthier objects of affection, I contrived to find a pleasure in loving and cherishing a faded graven image, shabby as a miniature scare-crow…I could not sleep unless it was folded in my night-gown; and when it lay there safe and warm, I was comparatively happy, believing it happy likewise.

Jane describes a childhood memory, revealing how she never had a sense of love or home as a child. She cherished a doll the way a child would care for a sibling or parent because she had no close, loving relationships in her life. Jane explains, “human beings must love something,” and for lack of anything resembling family affection, Jane remembers how she relied on a doll for a sense of comfort at night. The doll, symbolizing home and the love that only home can provide, helped Jane through some of her darkest days.

During these eight years my life was uniform, but not unhappy, because it was not inactive…Miss Temple, through all changes, had thus far continued superintendent of the seminary; to her instruction I owed the best art of my acquirements; her friendship and society had been my continual solace; she had stood me in the stead of mother, governess, and latterly, companion…From the day she left I was no longer the same; with her was gone every settled feeling, every association that had made Lowood in some degree a home to me.

Jane is reflecting on her eight years at Lowood and how moments of her experience at this school resembled a home. She specifically describes how Miss Temple’s influence had the greatest effect, even comparing her to a mother. However, Jane also reveals that when Miss Temple left, so did any feeling of home she may have felt at Lowood. In this description, the reader can see that Jane still longs for a sense of home and family, but also recognizes that she will not find it at Lowood.

It seemed I had found a brother; one I could be proud of—one I could love; and two sisters, whose qualities were such, that when I knew them but as mere strangers, they had inspired me with genuine affection and admiration…This was wealth indeed!—wealth to the heart!—a mine of pure genial affections. This was a blessing, bright, vivid, and exhilarating!—not like the ponderous gift of gold—rich and welcome enough in its way but sobering from its weight.

Jane relays the joy of finding a real home and family. In this quote, Jane enthusiastically tells the reader how she feels about the news that St. John, Diana, and Mary Rivers are her true blood relatives. Even though she also found out that she inherited a large amount of money, she is far more joyful about discovering a brother and sisters. When Jane describes this news as “wealth indeed,” she restates her strong desire to have a family and a sense of home.