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St. John Rivers and Edward Rochester contrasted

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Introduction

St.John Rivers and Edward Rochester contrasted Edward Rochester was born into a wealthy family, of high rank. The Rivers name was also well spoken of and highly respected. Both men had highly intellectual minds. They sought to cultivate and nurture them. Each, in their own way, thought themselves superior over other people. Rochester bluntly behaved in a proud manner, whereas St. John quietly held himself above others. Both men had great spiritual problems in their lives. Rochester always put himself above God. The happiness in his life was more important to him than obedience to the will of God. St.John put himself in God's place. There was much impropriety when he declared that his will was also the will of God. He gave himself great power in stating this. Their view of marriage was also distorted. Rochester, although he loved greatly and with much passion, had an immoral love. He didn't hold the covenant of marriage in it's rightful place. St. John didn't love at all and yet he wanted to enter into the covenant of marriage. He held marriage in a higher manner than Rochester did, but then there was still the issue of love that plagued St. John. Rochester and St. John both used manipulation in trying to get what they wanted. They were both selfish in their desires. Rochester was ruthless in his desire to get what he wanted whereas St. John continually used different manipulative devices to get what he wanted. Rochester was more outgoing and emotional while on the contrary St. John was very timid and reserved. Their lives ended quite differently, despite their many similarities. Rochester's life ended very happily for him. All things worked out for his own good, even all his physical ailments. St. ...read more.

Middle

Mr. Rochester played with Jane's mind and emotions, to find out if she was really in love with him. He was manipulative, selfish, and deceitful. He had a wife, but he wanted Jane so bad he was willing to do what ever it took to get her. Mr. Rochester loved her, but it had to do with desire, not life-long love. St. John started to take special notice of Jane after she inherited the money and split it between her cousins. St. John singled Jane out because he thought she had been self-sacrificing and that was what he respected. St. John told Jane that he wanted her to come with him to India as his wife. St. John told Jane, "You were not made for love, but labor." He informed her it was God's will that she come, and against what he stood for, used the Bible and prayer to try and manipulate Jane into going. He would have succeeded if it was not for a miracle. When Jane comes back to Mr. Rochester, she finds a transformed man. She had heard that his wife, who was insane and living on the third floor of his house, had set fire to the mansion and while trying to save her, Mr. Rochester had been badly burned. So badly that he lost sight in one eye completely, the other eye partially and lost a hand. Before the fire Mr. Rochester had blamed God for everything, and after the fire he realized that God had used the fire to punish him for trying to commit bigamy. Mr. Rochester then realized that he had been wrong and changed. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jane's conscience and restlessness combined with Rochester's bluntness and commandeering tones ("It would please me now to draw you out--to learn more of you--therefore speak.") prevent their love from becoming over-sentimental. I was glad to read that after the (hard-to-swallow) telepathic message discovery, that Jane did not feel the unimpressive need to proclaim that she, indeed, had been at the receiving end of the psychic SOS message. That she kept the little secret to herself gave her character. Also, the fact that the control of the relationship switches from Jane (the rescuer) to Rochester (the master) back to Jane (leading and caring for the blind and crippled man) gave depth to their relationship. The book was nicely broken up into five sections: * 1. gateshead (child) 2. Lowood (student/teacher) 3. Thornfield (governess) 4. Moor House (cousins) 5. Ferndean (with Rochester) In each section, you enter a new geographic world with a new set of characters. This keeps the book fresh. Jane's first contact with Rochester is lending her shoulder to help him, which she eventually does for the rest of his life. In fact, I am glad the book ended with the focus on the character of St. John instead of with Jane or Rochester, as it hints to us that the importance of the book is not about finding the right person, falling in love, and living happily ever after. The theme of this book is about following your conscience. In this regard, Jane and St. John both did the same thing in this story: They both had strong, driving consciences; they both were tempted but pursued their course; and they both found a satisfying life in the end. This book is not about developing a relationship with a romantic partner, but about developing a relationship and learning to follow and live in tune with your own moral conscience ...read more.

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