St John Rivers

Outer characterization

St John Rivers is another important character of the novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. St John is a church priest in the small town of Morton. He lives with his two sisters, Diana and Mary, at Moor House. St John comes from a good family, but his father lost most of the family money after a bad business decision. Later, it is revealed that St John’s mother was the sister of Jane’s father, making Jane and St John cousins. 

St John is in his late twenties, and he is described as tall, slender, and very handsome: 

his face riveted the eye, it was like a Greek face, very pure in outline: quite a straight, classic nose; quite an Athenian mouth and chin. (…) His eyes were large and blue, with brown lashes; his high forehead, colourless as ivory, was partially streaked over by careless locks of fair hair. (Chapter 29, 60%)

Inner characterization 

St John is defined by his faith and devotion. He believes it is his purpose to serve God and he models his life according to this idea. He is a generous man and takes Jane in when she is homeless and starving and helps her. However, his devotion to God also leads him to reject love, such as his feelings for Rosamond Oliver, which he refers to as “ ‘a last conflict wi...

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