St. John Rivers Fact File
The Relevance of his name; ‘St. John’, traditional, inherently religious. It reflects his pious character, and his importance to the issues discussed about Evangelicalism and organised religion compared to Jane’s own spiritual journey. He is the religious example in contrast to Mr Brocklehurst.
He is one of the characters who is extremely relevant to the theme of ‘Fire and Ice’, his character often described as speaking ‘coolly’, and as a logical individual. St. John ‘seemed to use [his eyes] rather as instruments to learn other people’s thoughts, than as agents to reveal his own.’ quite a different demeanour to Jane who is ruled by passion both as a child and as an adult: ‘I received him in a frantic sort.’
In contrast to both Jane and Rochester, St. John is a very attractive individual. While Jane is ‘poor, obscure, plain and little’ she is not ‘soulless and heartless.’ St. John physiognomy is ‘like a Greek face, very pure in outline; quite a straight classical nose; quite an Athenian mouth and chin.’ He represents an ideal; he is on all accounts classically handsome and suitably religious for the time, however Jane chooses to marry the flawed Rochester. She cannot marry the man who she said upon meeting ‘had he been a statue he could not have been easier.’ St. John is Rochester’s foil, they represent the two extremes Jane could choose to embrace and which is one…