Jane Eyre

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Jane Eyre Chapter 34 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
When the winter holidays arrive, Jane closes her school and spends a happy Christmas with Mary and Diana, who have returned from their jobs. St. John, on the other hand, is increasingly distant and cold. Asked about Rosamond Oliver, St. John tells them she has recently married a wealthy aristocrat.
The cheery holidays illustrate the loving home that Jane has found. St. John though has little respect for worldly connections. He won't even admit unhappiness for having lost Rosamond.
Themes
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
Feeling vs. Judgment Theme Icon
One day, St. John finds Jane studying German and suggests that she learn "Hindostanee" instead—the language he's studying for his missionary work in India. Jane agrees, and notes that she feels as if St. John is slowly gaining a strong influence over her, but one that leaves her cold.
As happened with Rochester, Jane instinct towards "servitude" lead her into a position as a helper to a strong and commanding man.
Themes
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
Feeling vs. Judgment Theme Icon
Time passes. That summer, St. John takes Jane on a walk in the hills. St. John tells Jane she has admirable qualities, and proposes that she marry him and accompany him on his missionary work. But Jane's "heart is mute." She recognizes that she could never be happy as St. John's wife. She tells him she would only go to work in India as his sister. He responds that in denying his proposal she is denying the Christian faith.
Unlike Rochester, St. John only admires Jane's qualities for their usefulness. He wants her to be a traditional religious wife—an aide to her husband. He doesn't love her; he only loves his religion. While St. John believes that human hearts should only serve God, Jane wants the freedom to feel.
Themes
Love, Family, and Independence Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
Religion Theme Icon
Feeling vs. Judgment Theme Icon