St. John evil?
Posted by Mark on October 11, 1997 at 15:51:21:
In response to Re: St. John, written by Kathy F. on October 10, 1997 at 22:40:26
I've never seen St. John as neither particularly good nor evil. He has made up his mind that the Lord has called him to a holy calling. Whether or not he has is a different story, and I'm not sure CB even knows. However, he has convinced himself that he has and must act accordingly.
I suspect that CB is dealing with the Calvinistic attitude that one must deny yourself of the world before one can be happy. This seems to be a theme in "Jane Eyre." St. John is attempting to fulfil God's calling by denying himself of all happiness. Therefore he cannot marry a girl who loves him, and who loves him back. He must marry only someone who will join him in his denial of happiness. The fact that he cannot love her and she cannot love him only makes the match more perfect.
He sees Jane has denied the worldly call for more toys. She also ran away from the man she loved in order to remain pure. She is so close to his ideal of total denial of the world. I guess he looks at Jane as being his first convert of his mission. But she won't make the final commitment, so she will be damned. He doesn't want that to happen, so he "twists her arm" as much as he dares.
So is he good or evil? I don't know. I suspect he is a good person who is trying his best to do what he thinks God wants him to do. I pity him more than anything else.
Posting followups to old messages is disabled; instead go to the main index and post a new message which mentions this one.