Jane Eyre: Moor House Colin Munson Cassandra Kyriazis Margaret Murray Luke Harrington St. John and Jane (Chapter 30) “Incommunicative as he was, some time had elapsed before I had an opportunity of gauging his mind. I first got an idea of its caliber when I heard him preach in his own church in Morton. I wish I could describe that sermon: but it is past my power. I cannot even render faithfully the effect it produced in me.”-Jane remarks on St. John’s rhetorical skill and its awe-inspiring effect on her(Page 353) Jane and Rochester (Chapter 31) • “Meantime, let me ask myself one question- Which is better? – To have surrendered to temptation; listen to passion; made no painful effort- no struggle;- but to have sunk down in the silken snare; fallen asleep on the flowers covering it; wakened in a southern clime, amongst the luxuries of a pleasure villa: to have been now living in France, Mr. Rochester’s mistress; delirious with his love half my time for he would- oh, yes, he would have loved me for a while. He did love me- no one will ever love me so again.” • Analysis: Here, Jane is rethinking her love with Rochester. Bear in mind that at this point in the novel, St. John has not yet proposed so this is off the cuff, unprovoked consideration of her options. She arrives at the conclusion that Rochester did love her, and that no one will love her again (except Rochester). On Life • “Whether is it better, I ask, to be a slave in a fool’s paradise at Marseilles- fevered with delusive bliss one hour – suffocating with the bitterest tears of remorse and shame the next – or to be a village school-mistress, free and honest, in a breezy mountain nook in the healthy heart of England?” • Jane asks her self a key question about life in general here. That being, whether she would rather live the stuffy, high class life, or the free and honest one of a school teacher. This question is a major crux of the book and Jane’s thought processes. Her Conclusion • “Yes; I feel now that I was right when I adhered to principle and law, and scorned and crushed the insane promptings of a frenzied moment. God directed me to a correct choice: I thank His providence for the guidance!” • Jane answers her previous question on upper vs. lower class with the fact that God put her as a school teacher as per His bidding. Whether she wants it or not, Jane believes that she is supposed to be where she is because that is where God wants her. Realization of Family and Fortune • Jane uses an alias when she first arrives at Moore House because she says she "fears discovery above all things" thus delaying the revelation that she is in fact in living with her cousins (Ch.29). • Her reaction to finding out she has family: "Glorious discovery to a lonely wretch! This was wealth indeed! - wealth to the heart! - a mine of pure, genial affections. This was a blessing, bright, vivid and exhilarating! - not like the ponderous gift of gold - rich and welcome enough in its way but sobering from its weight." This shows how finding family and kinsmen and knowing she can love and be loved by others is so much more important and exciting to her than any fortune she could inherit. Realization of Family and Fortune • The true revelation of Jane's newfound family begins when St. John uncovers Jane's real identity from her signature on her artwork. • St. John tells Jane the story of her childhood and she is amazed, shocked and confused that he knows her history. • "...your Uncle, Mr. Eyre of Madeira, is dead; that he has left you all his property and that you are now rich - merely that - nothing more" • Jane's reaction is controlled and thoughtful, "It is a fine thing, reader, to be lifted in a moment from indigence to wealth - a very fine thing ; but not a matter one can comprehend, or consequently enjoy, all at once." • "One does not jump, and spring, and shout hurrah! at hearing one has go a fortune; one begins to consider responsibilities, and to ponder business." Realization of Family and Fortune • In Jane's determination to know how St. John found out about her history and true identity, he describes himself as "difficult to persuade...I am cold; no fervor infects me." • Jane juxtaposes his character. "Whereas I am hot, and fire dissolves ice." Imagery and parallelism highlights Jane's passion through fire, and shows how different she is from St. John, backing up her reasons for not marrying him. Incorporates the hot/cold and fire/ice motif throughout the novel. • St. John is concerned and confused when Jane says she will share her fortune with her cousins, telling her she is impulsive and has to think it through. Jane retorts "You cannot at all imagine the craving I have for fraternal and sisterly love. I never had a home, I never had brothers and sisters; I must and will have them now." This also shows her passions and strong desire for fulfillment and love. (Ch. 34) Charity, Humility, and a Spartan Lifestyle (Chapter 32) • “I have intimated my view of the case: I am incapable of taking any other. I am not brutally selfish, blindly unjust, or fiendishly ungrateful. Besides, I am resolved I will have a home and connections. I like Moor House, and I will live at Moor House; I like Diana and Mary, and I will attach myself for life to Diana and Mary. It would please and benefit me to have five thousand pounds; it would torment and oppress me to have twenty thousand; which, moreover, could never be mine in justice, though it might in law. I abandon to you then, what is absolutely superfluous to me. Let there be no opposition, and no discussion about it; let us agree amongst each other, and decide the point at once.” Jane is ironically the better Christian. (Page 387) Chapter 33 • “With me it is fully as much a matter of feeling as of conscience: I must indulge my feelings; I so seldom have had an opportunity of doing so. Were you to argue, object, and annoy me for a year, I could not forgo the delicious pleasure of which I have caught a glimpse – that of repaying, in part a mighty obligation, and winning to myself life-long friends.” Onward-(Page 388) Chapter 34/Characterization of St. John • “To the end of turning to profit the talents which God has committed to your keeping, and of which he will surely one day demand a strict account. Jane, I shall watch you closely and anxiously—I warn you of that. And try to restrain the disproportionate fervor with which you throw yourself into common-place home pleasures. Don’t cling so tenaciously to ties of the flesh; save your constancy and ardor for an adequate cause; forbear to waste them on trite, transient objects.” – St. John to Jane • “St. John was a good man; but I began to feel he had spoken truth of himself when he had said he was hard and cold. The humanities and amenities of life had no attraction for him—its peaceful enjoyments no charm. Literally, he lived only to aspire—after what was good and great, certainly; but still he would never rest, nor approve of others resting around him.” – Jane’s thoughts • “St. John was not a man to be lightly refused; you felt that every impression made on him, either for pain or for pleasure, was deep-graved and permanent.” – Jane’s thoughts The Kiss • “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.” –Jane’s thoughts • Jane feels as though St. John’s kiss is sealing her fate in chains, locking her up as opposed to liberating her, the way kisses are supposed to feel. There is no passion in this icy and marble-like kiss the way Rochester’s kisses impassioned Jane. Although St. John has not proposed yet, it is clear that Jane could never have said yes, as all of her interactions with St. John are a mixture of awe infused with fear of the entrapment she feels when she is with him. The Proposal • St. John, speaking for Jane’s “mute heart,” suggests, “Jane, come with me to India; come as my help-meet and fellowlaborer.” No mention of love at all here, just to help God. And Jane responds appropriately, “But I was no apostle. I could not behold the herald, I could not receive his call.” • St. John argues with Jane, literally refusing to accept her rejection. • “God and nature intended you for a missionary’s wife. It is not personal but mental endowments they have given you; you are formed for labor, not for love. 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.” The Argument • “You have hitherto been my adopted brother; I, your adopted sister; let us continue as such; you and I had better not marry.” –Jane • “I want a wife; the sole help-meet I can influence efficiently in life, and retain absolutely till death.” – St. John • This is a business deal, a matter of efficiency for St. John. Jane, as a wife, would be an object to be “retained.” He takes no notice of Jane’s suggestions that they go as companions, as he is too concerned with what people will think of them as a male companion and female companion unwed. Jane Fights Back • • • • “Oh! I will give my heart to God,” I said. “You do not want it.” - Jane to St. John This comment throws St. John off guard, Jane observes an expression on him that seems to signify that he is awed she would dare be sarcastic or defiant towards him. “…revelations were being made in this conference; the analysis of his nature was proceeding before my eyes. I saw his fallibilities; I comprehended them. I understood that, sitting there where I did, on the bank of heath, and with that handsome form before me, I sat at the feet of a man erring as I. /the veil fell from his hardness and despotism. Having felt in him the presence of these qualities, I felt his imperfection, and took courage. I was with an equal, one with whom I might argue; one whom, if I saw good, I might resist.” Jane’s thoughts The sassy Jane Eyre of Gateshead rears her head once again. The passion and the willpower have found their way back to Jane as she finally has found a way to see St. John as her equal and not some impossible saint-like figure. Love takes precedence over giving up everything for God, her holding love so high is reminiscent of her parents giving up everything for love. Jane’s Realization • “…but as his wife, at his side always, and always restrained, and always checked, forced to keep the fire of my nature continually low, to compel it to burn inwardly and never utter a cry, though the imprisoned flame consumed vital after vital—this would be unendurable.” • Jane realizes she absolutely cannot face a life as St. John’s wife, the restrained life she would need to leave, wholly against her nature would slowly kill her inside. At this, she declares she will not marry St. John and does not give in to his arguments that they cannot simply go as companions, for it would be socially unacceptable. But Jane only has “a fellow soldier’s frankness, fidelity and fraternity,” for St. John which she keeps trying to explain, but St. John argues that “enough of love” will come with marriage. Jane becomes fed up with St. John’s argument and her passion peaks out... Jane Scorns St. John’s “love” • I scorn your idea of love,” I could not help saying, as I rose up and stood before him, leaning my back against the rock. “I scorn the counterfeit sentiment you offer; yes, St. John, and I scorn you when you offer it.” • St. John protests that he has done nothing to deserve this scorn, and while Jane emphasizes that she has made her feelings clear on this point, St. John says this is the only way for him to achieve his greatness and he will depart to Cambridge and let Jane think on it, with a warning, “Refuse to be my wife, and you limit yourself forever to a track of selfish ease and barren obscurity.” Aftermath • Later, St. John omits her from the bedtime ritual, and Jane runs after him to say good night, but it is clear that her rejection has broken her relationship with St. John indefinitely. He claims to have “not been offended,” but his cold demeanor in Jane’s presence throughout the rest of his time before he leaves for Cambridge further clarifies his feelings. Pg 477 The Final Refusal • "It was MY turn to assume ascendency. My powers were in play and in force." -Jane's thoughts. • She is most likely referring to her love for Rochester vs. St. John's duty to God, but she asserts this once she has heard Rochester's voice calling her away from giving into St. John's persuasion. • She hears Rochester’s calls after she entreats Heaven to "show her the path." Whether these calls are a hallucination we will never know, but her much more relatable type of devotion to God wins out against St. John's unreasonable demands that she sacrifice all human pleasures to ensure her place in Heaven and utilize her talents to become a missionary's wife. St. John’s Fate • The novel concludes with Jane commenting on the fate of St. John. He went to India, remained unmarried, and lived his life as a missionary. Jane feels as though St. John will die soon, and she asks, “And why weep for this? No fear of death will darken St. John’s last hour: his mind will be unclouded, his heart will be undaunted, his hope will be sure, his faith steadfast.” St. John welcomes his impending death, and his life in heaven.