Characterisation Mr Rochester and St John Rivers Jane Eyre: Advanced
Get an answer for 'Compare the two men in Jane Eyre's life: St. John Rivers and Rochester. main pointss' and find homework help for other Jane Eyre questions at eNotes. Read the study guide: 2 educator answers; From the beginning, Jane and Mr. Rochester have an unusual and complex relationship in Charlotte. Jane Eyre: Advanced York Notes A Level Revision Guide Rochester and Jane's relationship is one that eventually results in a marriage of equals. St John Rivers is not a sympathetic character, unlike Rochester, but he is still fairly reliable. Jane continues to pay attention to the relationship between St. John and Rosamond, who often visits the school when she knows St. John will be there.
Some passages from Bronte's text may shed light.
John looks quiet, Jane; but he hides a fever in his vitals. You would think him gentle, yet in some things he is inexorable as death…. It is right, noble, Christian: John is a parish minister with lofty ambitions, namely to become a missionary in the most unforgiving regions of the British Empire.
His life's goal is to spread the light of Christianity in the globe's darkest corners. And he will sacrifice everything - family ties, bodily strength, and even his one true love, Rosamond Oliver - to achieve this ambition. I scorn the weakness.
I know it is ignoble: That is just as fixed as a rock, firm set in the depths of a restless sea. Know me to be what I am - a cold, hard man.
St John Rivers - Character analysis in A Level and IB English Literature
John draws a dividing line between body and soul, asserting that bodily desires are inherently corrupt and corrupting. They are the restless sea, tossing the sufferer recklessly and unpredictably, from the highest highs to the lowest lows. But the requirements of the soul are steadfast: John, everything must give way to the unyielding demands of the soul, which means that he must mercilessly scour away his own desires.
He hates the passionate love he feels for Rosamond, seeing it as a failing, a mortal temptation to be rebuked, a sinful distraction that would deflect his soul from its divine course. Bronte constantly associates St John with rock, ice and snow to symbolise his cold, unyielding nature and lack of passion.
St John Rivers » Jane Eyre Study Guide from nickchinlund.info
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.
St John Rivers
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.