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A poor orphan cared for by an abusive Aunt grows up to be a governess at Thornfield Hall, an estate owned by the wealthy Edward Rochester. There she falls in love with Edward only to discover that he is already married to a madwoman.
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"I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth. I hold myself supremely blest--blest beyond what language can express; because I am my husband's life as fully as he is mine. No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: ever more absolutely bone of his bone, and flesh of his flesh. I know no weariness of my Edward's society: he knows none of mine, any more than we each do the pulsation of the heart that beats in our separate bosoms; consequently, we are ever together. To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company. We talk, I believe, all day long: to talk to each other is but a more animated and an audible thinking. All my confidence is bestowed on him, all his confidence is devoted to me; we are precisely suited in chatacter--perfect concord is the result."
Charlotte Bronte on morals: "I care for myself....Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be."
Charlotte Bronte on experience: "I don't think, sir, you have a right to command me, merely because you are older than I, or because you have seen more of the world than I have- your claim to superiority depends on the use you have made of your time and experience."
Charlotte Bronte on feminism: "Women are suppose to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making pudding and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex."
Charlotte Bronte on hate: "It is not violence that best overcomes hate- nor vengeance that most certainly heals injury....Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you and despitefully use you."
"Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last."
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