In Jane Eyre, how do St. John's and Jane's concepts of home differ?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

You might want to answer this excellent question by analysing Chapter 34, which is when Jane has inherited her wealth and uses some of it to make Moor House more comfortable. After she has done this, St. John arrives and she shows him her improvements. His evident lack of interest and his concern that she might have spent too long on such a frivolous task can be used to reveal their different attitudes regarding home. Note what Jane concludes about his character:

"This parlous is not his sphere," I reflected: "the Himalayan ridge, or Caffre bush, even the plague-cursed Guinea Coast swamp, would suit him better. Well may he eschew the calm of domestic life; it is not his element: there his faculties stagnate--they cannot develop or appear to advantage."

For St. John, home in the sense of having a stable and secure house that is comfortable and warm is not home at all. Jane says in the same chapter that he is a character that "lived only to aspire," and this precludes him from taking any enjoyment in such domestic happiness. For Jane, on the other hand, the entire novel charts her quest to find such a home, and Moor House, after she has inherited her money and discovered her familial link with St. John and his sisters, is the first time that we have seen her truly happy in the entire novel.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial