Jane Eyre and Self-Knowledge

Today I submitted final grades and said good-bye to one of the busiest and most fulfilling semesters I’ve had. I particularly enjoyed teaching Jane Eyre this semester, and when I asked my students to write about which books impacted them the most, most of them agreed with me. 

My favorite comment from a student this semester was inspired by this novel as well: “Jane is all up in her feelings.”

Jane Eyre

The following is a passage I found interesting this time through the novel, which is a nice expression of Jane’s self-knowledge:

As for me, I daily wished more to please him: but to do so, I felt daily more and more that I must disown half my nature, stifle half my faculties, wrest my tastes from their original bent, force myself to the adoption of pursuits for which I had no natural vocation. He wanted to train me to an elevation I could never reach; it racked me hourly to aspire to the standard he uplifted. The thing was as impossible as to mould my irregular features to his correct and classic pattern, to give to my changeable green eyes the sea-blue tint and solemn lustre of his own. (339-40)

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