Everything you ever wanted to know about St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre, written by masters of this stuff just for you. after marriage; and that to twelve months' rapture would succeed a lifetime of regret. Memes That Destroyed Innocent Lives. of St. John Rivers in Charlotte Bronte's masterpiece 'Jane Eyre. in Jane's relationship with her two suitors: Edward Rochester and St. Jane often describes Rochester's eyes as flashing and flaming, whereas she constantly associates St. John with rock, ice, and snow. Marriage with Rochester .
In love with the beautiful Rosamund Oliver, yet refuses to marry her as she won't make a suitable missionary's wife. Although his principals seem good, in the 21st century, St John would be seen as a misogynist and sexist.
St John's referral to ice shows how he would extinguish Jane's spirit and personality, repressing her passion. Symbolises the side of Jane that wishes to conform, surpress instincts and obey rules. Leads Jane to understand that a large part of personal freedom is a relationship of mutual emotional dependence. Marriage to St John would sacrifice passion for principle.
Allows Jane to see that relationships don't function on practicality and logic alone the reasons she left Thornfield. Jane's rejection of St John's proposal spurs her to return to Rochester, her one chance for spiritual passion. Novel ends with St John, portraying the hand of God in the novel and how Jane is following her own religious ideas: It also suggests how Jane would have ended up had she chosen Rivers over Rochester: Reminds the reader what Jane has gained by losing St John.
His role is also far more literal: Her unconscious goal of fitting in is in some ways completed after Jane has found the Rivers.
St John Rivers - Character analysis in A Level and IB English Literature
Aids Jane to form her own opinion of religion. And then it is such a bitter night — the keenest wind you ever felt. You had better send word, sir, that you will be there in the morning. It was then nine o'clock: Starved and tired enough he was: He had performed an act of duty; made an exertion; felt his own strength to do and deny, and was on better terms with himself.
I am afraid the whole of the ensuing week tried his patience. It was Christmas week: The air of the moors, the freedom of home, the dawn of prosperity, acted on Diana and Mary's spirits like some life-giving elixir: They could always talk; and their discourse, witty, pithy, original, had such charms for me, that I preferred listening to, and sharing in it, to doing anything else. John did not rebuke our vivacity; but he escaped from it: One morning at breakfast, Diana, after looking a little pensive for some minutes, asked him, "If his plans were yet unchanged.
And he proceeded to inform us that his departure from England was now definitively fixed for the ensuing year. John had a book in his hand — it was his unsocial custom to read at meals — he closed it, and looked up. Granby, one of the best connected and most estimable residents in S- grandson and heir to Sir Frederic Granby: I had the intelligence from her father yesterday. But where there are no obstacles to a union, as in the present case, where the connection is in every point desirable, delays are unnecessary: John alone after this communication, I felt tempted to inquire if the event distressed him: Besides, I was out of practice in talking to him: He had not kept his promise of treating me like his sisters; he continually made little chilling differences between us, which did not at all tend to the development of cordiality: When I remembered how far I had once been admitted to his confidence, I could hardly comprehend his present frigidity.
Such being the case, I felt not a little surprised when he raised his head suddenly from the desk over which he was stooping, and said — "You see, Jane, the battle is fought and the victory won.
Would not such another ruin you? The event of the conflict is decisive: As our mutual happiness i. John stayed more at home: While Mary drew, Diana pursued a course of encyclopaedic reading she had to my awe and amazement undertaken, and I fagged away at German, he pondered a mystic lore of his own: Thus engaged, he appeared, sitting in his own recess, quiet and absorbed enough; but that blue eye of his had a habit of leaving the outlandish- looking grammar, and wandering over, and sometimes fixing upon us, his fellow-students, with a curious intensity of observation: I wondered what it meant: I wondered, too, at the punctual satisfaction he never failed to exhibit on an occasion that seemed to me of small moment, namely, my weekly visit to Morton school; and still more was I puzzled when, if the day was unfavourable, if there was snow, or rain, or high wind, and his sisters urged me not to go, he would invariably make light of their solicitude, and encourage me to accomplish the task without regard to the elements.
Her constitution is both sound and elastic; — better calculated to endure variations of climate than many more robust. One afternoon, however, I got leave to stay at home, because I really had a cold. His sisters were gone to Morton in my stead: I sat reading Schiller; he, deciphering his crabbed Oriental scrolls.
As I exchanged a translation for an exercise, I happened to look his way: How long it had been searching me through and through, and over and over, I cannot tell: Would I do him this favour? I should not, perhaps, have to make the sacrifice long, as it wanted now barely three months to his departure. John was not a man to be lightly refused: When Diana and Mary returned, the former found her scholar transferred from her to her brother: John should never have persuaded them to such a step.
He answered quietly — "I know it.
By degrees, he acquired a certain influence over me that took away my liberty of mind: I could no longer talk or laugh freely when he was by, because a tiresomely importunate instinct reminded me that vivacity at least in me was distasteful to him. I was so fully aware that only serious moods and occupations were acceptable, that in his presence every effort to sustain or follow any other became vain: I fell under a freezing spell.
When he said "go," I went; "come," I came; "do this," I did it. But I did not love my servitude: I wished, many a time, he had continued to neglect me. One evening when, at bedtime, his sisters and I stood round him, bidding him good-night, he kissed each of them, as was his custom; and, as was equally his custom, he gave me his hand.
Diana, who chanced to be in a frolicsome humour she was not painfully controlled by his will; for hers, in another way, was as strongexclaimed — "St. I thought Diana very provoking, and felt uncomfortably confused; and while I was thus thinking and feeling, St. John bent his head; his Greek face was brought to a level with mine, his eyes questioned my eyes piercingly — he kissed me.
There are no such things as marble kisses or ice kisses, or I should say my ecclesiastical cousin's salute belonged to one of these classes; but there may be experiment kisses, and his was an experiment kiss. When given, he viewed me to learn the result; it was not striking: I am sure I did not blush; perhaps I might have turned a little pale, for I felt as if this kiss were a seal affixed to my fetters.
He never omitted the ceremony afterwards, and the gravity and quiescence with which I underwent it, seemed to invest it for him with a certain charm. 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. Not his ascendancy alone, however, held me in thrall at present. Of late it had been easy enough for me to look sad: Perhaps you think I had forgotten Mr.
Rochester, reader, amidst these changes of place and fortune. Not for a moment. His idea was still with me, because it was not a vapour sunshine could disperse, nor a sand-traced effigy storms could wash away; it was a name graven on a tablet, fated to last as long as the marble it inscribed.
The craving to know what had become of him followed me everywhere; when I was at Morton, I re-entered my cottage every evening to think of that; and now at Moor House, I sought my bedroom each night to brood over it. In the course of my necessary correspondence with Mr. Briggs about the will, I had inquired if he knew anything of Mr.
Rochester's present residence and state of health; but, as St. John had conjectured, he was quite ignorant of all concerning him.
I then wrote to Mrs. Fairfax, entreating information on the subject. I had calculated with certainty on this step answering my end: I felt sure it would elicit an early answer.
I was astonished when a fortnight passed without reply; but when two months wore away, and day after day the post arrived and brought nothing for me, I fell a prey to the keenest anxiety.
Renewed hope followed renewed effort: When half a year wasted in vain expectancy, my hope died out, and then I felt dark indeed. A fine spring shone round me, which I could not enjoy. Summer approached; Diana tried to cheer me: John opposed; he said I did not want dissipation, I wanted employment; my present life was too purposeless, I required an aim; and, I suppose, by way of supplying deficiencies, he prolonged still further my lessons in Hindostanee, and grew more urgent in requiring their accomplishment: One day I had come to my studies in lower spirits than usual; the ebb was occasioned by a poignantly felt disappointment.
Hannah had told me in the morning there was a letter for me, and when I went down to take it, almost certain that the long-looked for tidings were vouchsafed me at last, I found only an unimportant note from Mr.
The bitter check had wrung from me some tears; and now, as I sat poring over the crabbed characters and flourishing tropes of an Indian scribe, my eyes filled again.
Chapter XXXIV [St. John Rivers proposes marriage] from Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre
John called me to his side to read; in attempting to do this my voice failed me: He and I were the only occupants of the parlour: Diana was practising her music in the drawing-room, Mary was gardening — it was a very fine May day, clear, sunny, and breezy. My companion expressed no surprise at this emotion, nor did he question me as to its cause; he only said — "We will wait a few minutes, Jane, till you are more composed.
Having stifled my sobs, wiped my eyes, and muttered something about not being very well that morning, I resumed my task, and succeeded in completing it. John put away my books and his, locked his desk, and said — "Now, Jane, you shall take a walk; and with me. Put on your things; go out by the kitchen-door: I will join you in a moment.
I never in my life have known any medium in my dealings with positive, hard characters, antagonistic to my own, between absolute submission and determined revolt.
I have always faithfully observed the one, up to the very moment of bursting, sometimes with volcanic vehemence, into the other; and as neither present circumstances warranted, nor my present mood inclined me to mutiny, I observed careful obedience to St.
John's directions; and in ten minutes I was treading the wild track of the glen, side by side with him.
Reason vs. Emotion in Jane Eyre
The breeze was from the west: As we advanced and left the track, we trod a soft turf, mossy fine and emerald green, minutely enamelled with a tiny white flower, and spangled with a star-like yellow blossom: John, as we reached the first stragglers of a battalion of rocks, guarding a sort of pass, beyond which the beck rushed down a waterfall; and where, still a little farther, the mountain shook off turf and flower, had only heath for raiment and crag for gem — where it exaggerated the wild to the savage, and exchanged the fresh for the frowning — where it guarded the forlorn hope of solitude, and a last refuge for silence.
I took a seat: John stood near me. He looked up the pass and down the hollow; his glance wandered away with the stream, and returned to traverse the unclouded heaven which coloured it: He seemed in communion with the genius of the haunt: An austere patriot's passion for his fatherland!
He sat down; for half-an-hour we never spoke; neither he to me nor I to him: I am the servant of an infallible Master. I am not going out under human guidance, subject to the defective laws and erring control of my feeble fellow-worms: It seems strange to me that all round me do not burn to enlist under the same banner, — to join in the same enterprise.
I address only such as are worthy of the work, and competent to accomplish it. I trembled to hear some fatal word spoken which would at once declare and rivet the spell.
It was as if I had heard a summons from Heaven — as if a visionary messenger, like him of Macedonia, had enounced, "Come over and help us! He continued — "God and nature intended you for a missionary's wife.
It is not personal, but mental endowments they have given you: A missionary's wife you must — shall be. You shall be mine: I claim you — not for my pleasure, but for my Sovereign's service. I have no vocation," I said. He had calculated on these first objections: Indeed, as he leaned back against the crag behind him, folded his arms on his chest, and fixed his countenance, I saw he was prepared for a long and trying opposition, and had taken in a stock of patience to last him to its close — resolved, however, that that close should be conquest for him.
Who is fit for it? Or who, that ever was truly called, believed himself worthy of the summons?
I, for instance, am but dust and ashes. Paul, I acknowledge myself the chiefest of sinners; but I do not suffer this sense of my personal vileness to daunt me.
I know my Leader: Think like me, Jane — trust like me. It is the Rock of Ages I ask you to lean on: I have never studied missionary labours.
I can set you your task from hour to hour; stand by you always; help you from moment to moment. This I could do in the beginning: I do not feel them. Nothing speaks or stirs in me while you talk. I am sensible of no light kindling — no life quickening — no voice counselling or cheering. Oh, I wish I could make you see how much my mind is at this moment like a rayless dungeon, with one shrinking fear fettered in its depths — the fear of being persuaded by you to attempt what I cannot accomplish!
I have watched you ever since we first met: I have made you my study for ten months. I have proved you in that time by sundry tests: In the village school I found you could perform well, punctually, uprightly, labour uncongenial to your habits and inclinations; I saw you could perform it with capacity and tact: In the calm with which you learnt you had become suddenly rich, I read a mind clear of the vice of Demas: In the resolute readiness with which you cut your wealth into four shares, keeping but one to yourself, and relinquishing the three others to the claim of abstract justice, I recognised a soul that revelled in the flame and excitement of sacrifice.
St John Rivers
In the tractability with which, at my wish, you forsook a study in which you were interested, and adopted another because it interested me; in the untiring assiduity with which you have since persevered in it — in the unflagging energy and unshaken temper with which you have met its difficulties — I acknowledge the complement of the qualities I seek. Jane, you are docile, diligent, disinterested, faithful, constant, and courageous; very gentle, and very heroic: As a conductress of Indian schools, and a helper amongst Indian women, your assistance will be to me invaluable.
Shut my eyes as I would, these last words of his succeeded in making the way, which had seemed blocked up, comparatively clear. My work, which had appeared so vague, so hopelessly diffuse, condensed itself as he proceeded, and assumed a definite form under his shaping hand.
He waited for an answer. I demanded a quarter of an hour to think, before I again hazarded a reply. I am forced to see and acknowledge that," I meditated, — "that is, if life be spared me. But I feel mine is not the existence to be long protracted under an Indian sun.
He does not care for that: The case is very plain before me. In leaving England, I should leave a loved but empty land — Mr. Rochester is not there; and if he were, what is, what can that ever be to me? My business is to live without him now: Of course as St. John once said I must seek another interest in life to replace the one lost: Is it not, by its noble cares and sublime results, the one best calculated to fill the void left by uptorn affections and demolished hopes?
I believe I must say, Yes — and yet I shudder. If I join St. John, I abandon half myself: And how will the interval between leaving England for India, and India for the grave, be filled?
Oh, I know well! That, too, is very clear to my vision. By straining to satisfy St. John till my sinews ache, I shall satisfy him — to the finest central point and farthest outward circle of his expectations. If I do go with him — if I do make the sacrifice he urges, I will make it absolutely: I will throw all on the altar — heart, vitals, the entire victim. He will never love me; but he shall approve me; I will show him energies he has not yet seen, resources he has never suspected.