In the book Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, how may the proposal of St. John Rivers be paralleled to the proposal of Mr. Rochester?

Expert Answers info

Dolly Doyle eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseLibrarian


calendarEducator since 2018

write1,051 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

Both St. John Rivers and Mr. Rochester are selfish men who expect Jane to give up much to marry them.

St. John Rivers expects Jane to remain celibate with him and work hard as a missionary abroad. This does not appeal to Jane because she is a passionate person and the idea of a platonic marriage is unappealing to her. On the other hand, Rochester expects Jane to sacrifice her sense of morality by becoming his mistress, since his wife Bertha is still alive and the two of them cannot be legally separated.

Both men claim they understand Jane's heart more than she does. When St. John asks Jane if she feels called to work in India with him and she claims her "heart is mute," he replies by saying, "Then I must speak for it." He even goes as far as to speak for God, saying, "God and nature intended you for a missionary's wife." Jane replies that she knows this is not her passion, but St. John continues to speak over her, disregarding her feelings and thoughts.

While Rochester is Jane's true love, he...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 615 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Tina Crawford, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Southern Utah University


calendarEducator since 2011

write2,320 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial