Jane Eyre Chapters 33-36 Summary

     Another several months passes without significant events, until one winter day, when St. John's visit turns Jane's life upside down. He is strange from the beginning, since he came during the blizzard, for no obvious reason. Silent and mysterious, St. John spends his time in reading a book, unaware of Jane's curious glances. Eventually, he opens up and reveals the true nature of his visit. He starts narrating the story about the girl whose parents died young, leaving her homeless. The girl is raised by Mrs. Reeds and sent to Lowood. Several years later, she goes to altar with Mr. Rochester but does not get married and runs away from Thornfield Hall. Jane is shocked by the story and demands to know where did he hear the story. He explains that he got the letter from the lawyer, Mr. Briggs, who asked for St. John's help to find Jane Eyre. At the mentioning of Mr. Briggs and Thornfield Hall, it seems that Jane is more anxious to hear the news about Mr. Rochester than those about St. John's revelation of her true identity. Unfortunately, St. John knows nothing about Mr. Rochester, and Jane assumes that he left England as he planned. However, St. John's shocking story is not over yet. He wants to inform her that she is now a rich woman, since her uncle John left her a large amount of money as a heir. Soon it becomes clear that Jane's deceased uncle, Mr. John Eyre, is also St. John's uncle, which makes St. John, Mary and Diana the cousins of Jane. Jane is shocked with the twist of fate, not so much because of the money, but because of the knowledge that she finally has a family. She immediately makes a decision to divide her inheritance into four equal parts.

     In the following chapter, Jane is making preparations for Mary and Diana's return to Marsh End, by giving it a new, fresh look. St. John lacks enthusiasm, so he spends a little, or no time at all in the house. After the reunion of cousins, Jane, Mary and Diana spend days in harmony, unlike St. John who prefers solitude. His gloominess is ascribed to his peculiar personality, and not much attention is paid to him. However, as they later find out, Miss Oliver is marrying Mr. Granby, which is certainly the main cause of St. John's melancholy, although he would never admit it. As the time passes by, Jane notices that St. John is even more distant from her than before. He promised to treat her as his own sister once, but never fulfilled the promise.

     Accustomed to a lack of communication with him, Jane is puzzled when he approaches her one day and asks her to give up learning German and start learning Hindustani. Feeling powerless and pressured, Jane involuntarily accepts his suggestion. But this is not the end of his suggestions and orders. Soon, he asks her to join him to the trip to India, but after her refusal to leave England now when she has finally found a home and family, St. John puts a pressure on her to quit everything and come with him, assuring her that she is born for this role. In addition, he insists on marrying her before their trip, making her desperate. She finds the marriage with him repulsive, life with him miserable, and so she fights with all her strength for her independence, but St. John is so pushy that she almost gives up and surrender to his power.

     In chapter 35, his insistence on marriage with Jane puts a great deal of pressure on her, forcing her to fight for her free will even harder, although she feels that she is succumbing his power and losing the battle. St. John almost manages to convince her that she is not born for love, but for work, but Jane wonders if she was not born for love, why he insists on their marriage, which should be the love institution. Anyway, she decides to drop her guard and let him do with her whatever he likes. Sudden scream calling for her name makes her reconsider the decision, because she takes it as a sign. She is sure that this is not deception, nor superstition, but a work of nature, alarming her that Rochester needs her.

     In the following chapter, Jane is determined to find what happened to Rochester. She ignores St. John's letter she finds in her room, rushing her, as usual, to make her decision about their marriage. After notifying Mary and Diana that she is going on a trip, Jane heads to Thornfield Hall. The journey is long and tiresome, and as she approaches the familiar scenery, Jane is impatient to get to the house, but nothing could have prepared her for the scene of Thornfield Hall burnt to the ground, with no living soul around. Shocked by the sight, she asks a random passerby about the destiny of Thornfield Hall and its residents. He gives a thorough answer about devastating consequences of a fire, informing her that Bertha Mason started the fire, killing herself and leaving Rochester mutilated and homeless. At the question if he knows where Rochester lives now, the stranger offers to take her to him.

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