and find homework help for other Jane Eyre questions at eNotes. Compare and contrast between Mr. Rochester and St. John from Jane Eyre. print Print He couldn't go through with marriage despite the great love between them. St. John and his sisters (Diana and Mary) become Jane's best friends, and he helps her recover her fortune. Jane takes. Saint John in Jane Eyre a saint and a john Metaphor, in fact, I would argue that the power relationship between Jane and Saint John is from the start When she first asks Saint John to help her find a job, she says the “I.
Jane is not alone in thinking him as a sultan, for Rochester himself in fact has the same horrible thoughts. This Eastern allusion pains Jane.
Jane thinks it is serious enough for her to denounce it. Jane also has her own plan for resisting the enslavement. So obviously Jane is quite aware of the enslavement she faces. She even has a plan to counter it. But she surrenders to the indulgence of love. It is until she finds out that Rochester has a wife alive that she escapes from Thornfield.
Her escapement from Thornfield signifies her morality wins the battle against indulgence.
She has passed her test of physical and material indulgence. Here she is first rejected by the housemaid and then coldly received by the master saint john. Of course she is lucky enough to have female cousins in the house who are congenial to her. There is no hint when Saint John has formed his plan of marrying Jane. It becomes even more obvious when he warns Jane of the danger of turn slothful.
He in fact is preparing Jane to take on her errand as a missionary wife. The he deceives Jane into learning Hindustani. The reason behind her consent is her strong sense of duty and guilty, which are important virtues for Victorian women. Jane values her relations much.
When she learned that Saint John and his sisters are actually her cousins, she is quite excited. Actually she thinks it is more important than having got a large fortune. She clapped her hands in sudden joy — her pulse bounded, her veins thrilled. While Jane becomes his student, she found him a very patient, very forbearing, and yet an exacting master.
Jane finds herself in thrall. She describes her feeling in the following passage: By degrees, he acquired a certain influence over me that took away my liberty of mind: Here the narrator herself speaks out the truth.
St John Rivers - Character analysis in A Level and IB English Literature
Saint John in fact is trying to deprive her of intellectual liberty. I never dared complain, because I saw that to murmur would be to vex him: They like to torture others. At last Saint John proposes to Jane in a tactless and passionless manner.
He says, "It is not personal, but mental endowments they have given you: She knows that he prizes her as a soldier would a good weapon. This as I have pointed out in the last section would mean that she becomes a slave of him. She would rather go with him as a sister. As she remarked about his proposal: She knows quite well that Saint John sees nothing attractive in her: Through these two tests, Jane maintains her independence and grows mature.
But also implies to us her idea of real marriage, which the narrator herself reveals to us in the following sentences: No woman was ever nearer to her mate than I am: To be together is for us to be at once as free as in solitude, as gay as in company.
In essence, the narrator expresses her idea of marriage is for the male and female to have mutual respect and understanding. Indulgence of love without respect and duty without understanding and passion for each other can not be base for marriage. Saint John and Helentwo different devoted Calvinists Saint John and Helen are both two minor characters in the novel.
They both appear to be devoted Calvinism. They believe in restraint of worldly pleasure and emotion. These similarities are derived from their common belief Calvinism. But they are on the other hand completely different. I would argue in the following paragraphs that the difference between Saint John and Helen is due to their respective gender. And their different gender leads to their different personality.
This turn affect their perception in the novel. Helen can be construed as a female plus Calvinist, while Saint John as male plus Calvinist. I put their respective gender in front of their religious belief because the different gender actually shapes their respective character. I would argue that Helen as a female as well as a Calvinist is perceived as a victim of this inhuman religious belief, while Saint John a male as well as a Calvinist is perceived as an oppressor.
Her mother died and she was sent to this boarding school at a very early age. Some critics have noticed that Jane lost her father and mother, while Helen was still under the rule of her father. Helen thus is in conformity with the social expectation of female. First Helen is very kind.
Kindness as we know is often attributed as feminine character. We can see her kindness through the following event. When everyone in the school is taught not to speak to Jane, Helen despises this call and gets Jane some food. When she passed Jane she smiles to Jane. I remember it now, and I know that it was the effluence of fine intellect, of true courage; it lit up her marked lineaments, her thin face, her sunken grey eye, like a reflection from the aspect of an angel.
Grateful is also an important virtue for female. She turned to Helen. And Helen told her about the institution.
So in fact, too grateful is to some extent an obstacle to female independence. Remember little Jane never thought that she as an orphan lived in Mrs.
As regards to her religious devotion, Helen closely observes the Calvinistic teaching. She never complains even if the criticism is baseless or from over-scrupulous people who obviously have discrimination against her. Complaining or revenge is in strong confrontation with Calvinistic teaching. But Helen did neither. She seldom reveals her real emotion, because she thinks it is the feature of Heathens and savage tribes and is against Christian teaching.
After she heard what Jane had suffered in Gateshead, she just tried to smooth Jane, and asked her to forget and forgive. So when Jane was the governess of Thornfield and she heard the news that Mrs. She even addressed Mrs. Saint John male plus Calvinist In discussing Saint John, I would like to first address his Calvinist dimension, because his male aspect would seem to be trivial if it is not that fact that he appears to be a faithful Calvinist.
Saint John of course appears to be a devoted Calvinist. He is very faithful to his own duty which is an important character for a priest.
Another feature of Calvinist teaching is to be restraint from passion. Saint John follows this teaching closely.
Saint John in Jane Eyre
He is always composed and behaves in a cold manner. Though here he is just trying to impose his religious belief on Jane and thus the purpose of this discourse is to enslave her mentally, we could still see through it his devotion to Calvinistic idea. Then we shall examine the male aspect of him. As devoted as he is, he is not really a saint. John Rivers — pure-lived, conscientious, zealous as he was — had not yet found that peace of God which passed all understanding: Ambition turns him into a monster.
As Saint John once said to Jane that he never intended to become a priest himself, it is under the order of his father that he became a clergyman. He reveals to Jane that he used to feel that he was intensely miserable, because he burnt for the more active life of the world. Then he combines his clergy career with his ambition. Obviously from colonialism point of view, this indicates his ambition of conquering colonies.
And thus many critics have portrayed him as a stern colonist. Saint John himself knows that this is not in conformity with Christianity. In fact, it is this ambition that ruins his normal life. He could marry to the miss Oliver as a normal clergyman because her father does not look down upon him. He would also enjoy the delightful household joys of his sisters. But he abandons all this for the sake of his ambition. His male aspect of dominating personality also pushes him to deviate from real Christian.
It is true Christianity. When a Jane talks to him about giving a portrait of Mrs. Oliver to him, he has the following reaction: He is not like Helen a real devoted Calvinist; instead he is rather a defective mortal. His religion is distorted by his dominating male personality. Conclusion Saint John is a quite complex character.
As we have seen above, he plays an important role in the growth of the protagonistJane Eyre. On one hand he is so devoted to Christianity as to abandon nearly every sense of indulgence except perhaps the indulgence of endurance. But on the other hand he is to some extent a reflection of John Reed as well as Rochester. He has a dominating personality of commanding others.
He tries to enslave Jane through marital relationship. He embodies the mixture of a male master and a devoted priest. He claims to serve only one causethe cause of God.
He doesn't feel it is guilty to deprive others of happiness. He manipulates Jane by her sense of duty and guilty.
Everyone else is just a tool for his cause and ambition which he is very reluctant to admit. He evaluates them only by the extent to which they can endure pain. In creating this character, Bronte to some extent inherits one of the great traditions of western literaturetragedy.
A character that has personalities in tension inevitably will make himself a tragic person. Last edited by dirac; at Bronte constantly associates St John with rock, ice and snow to symbolise his cold, unyielding nature and lack of passion.
In love with the beautiful Rosamund Oliver, yet refuses to marry her as she won't make a suitable missionary's wife.
St John Rivers
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.