A parson with two sisters at Moor House, and Jane's cousin. Much like Jane, St. John is a restless character, searching for a place and purpose in life. Like Mr. Rochester, St. John has a commanding personality, but the two men contrast in their range of feelings. St. John relinquishes worldly happiness for a commitment to his religious principles. His stern religious faith makes him self-denying and cold.
St. John Rivers Quotes in Jane Eyre
The Jane Eyre quotes below are all either spoken by St. John Rivers or refer to St. John Rivers. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of Jane Eyre published in 2006.).
Chapter 32 Quotes
St. John, no doubt, would have given the world to follow, recall, retain her, when she thus left him; but he would not give one chance of heaven, nor relinquish, for the elysium of her love, one hope of the true, eternal Paradise.
Again the surprised expression crossed his face. He had not imagined that a woman would dare to speak so to a man. For me, I felt at home in this sort of discourse. I could never rest in communication with strong, discreet, and refined minds, whether male or female, till I had passed the outworks of conventional reserve, and crossed the threshold of confidence, and won a place by their heart's very hearthstone.
Chapter 33 Quotes
I looked at the blank wall: it seemed a sky thick with ascending stars,—every one lit me to a purpose or delight. Those who had saved my life, whom, till this hour, I had loved barrenly, I could now benefit. They were under a yoke,—I could free them: they were scattered,—I could reunite them: the independence, the affluence which was mine, might be theirs too.
St. John Rivers Character Timeline in Jane Eyre
The timeline below shows where the character St. John Rivers appears in Jane Eyre. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...death is imminent and vowing to wait for God's will. Just then, the women's brother, St. John (pronounced "Sinjin") arrives home. He brings Jane into the house, where the River sisters give... (full context)
...and no connections in England, and asks for help looking for work of any kind. St. John is firm but charitable, and promises to help. Mary and Diana, much warmer personalities than... (full context)
...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.... (full context)
...reader that Diana and Mary both have married respectable and caring husbands and visit regularly. St. John went to India alone. She says that in his last letter, St. John said that... (full context)