Jane Eyre: Ferndean

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
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.
• “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
• “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
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
“…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
• 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.”
• 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.

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