Jane Eyre Questions and Answers
by Charlotte Brontë

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Compare and contrast between Mr. Rochester and St. John from Jane Eyre.    

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Mr. Rochester and St. John Rivers are literary foils. Simply put, this means that they are characters who offer a contrast to each other. And the contrasts between the two men really couldn't be much greater.

These differences illustrate a number of wider contrasts that Bronte is keen to explore. First, there is the contrast between appearance and reality. Mr. Rochester appears, on the face of it, to be a brooding, rather stern character. Yet beneath that gruff exterior beats a passionately romantic heart.

St. John Rivers, by contrast, is incredibly handsome. Not only that, but as a missionary he appears to possess firm moral rectitude. He seems to have all the necessary qualifications of a "good catch." But beneath his charming exterior there is no passion, no desire, no joie de vivre . He spent what little zest for life he had on an ultimately fruitless courtship of Rosamond Oliver. He couldn't go through with marriage despite the great love between them. Rosamond just wouldn't be much...

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