“He is not to them what he is to me,” I thought: “he is not of their kind. I believe he is of mine; – I am sure he is, – I feel akin to him, – I understand the language of his countenance and movements: though rank and wealth sever us widely, I have something in my brain and heart, in my blood and nerves, that assimilates me mentally to him…I know I must conceal my sentiments: I must smother hope; I must remember that he cannot care much for me. For when I say that I am of his kind, I do not mean that I have his force to influence, and his spell to attract: I mean only that I have certain tastes and feelings in common with him. I must, then, repeat continually that we are forever sundered: – and yet, while I breathe and think, I must love him.”

– Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre, Chapter 17. Jane has retreated to a corner to observe Rochester and his party of upper-class houseguests. She believes that he has more in common with her than he has with them. Despite their difference in rank and wealth, she feels a kinship with Rochester. However, she doubts that the social class barriers dividing them can be overcome. Yet at the same time she feels that her blossoming love for Rochester cannot be stopped.