by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre Foreignness and "The Other" Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Volume.Chapter.Paragraph)
In leaving England, I should leave a loved but empty land—Mr. Rochester is not there; and if he were, what is, what can that ever be to me? […] Of course (as St. John once said) I must seek another interest in life to replace the one lost: is not the occupation he now offers me truly the most glorious man can adopt or God assign? Is it not, by its noble cares and sublime results, the one best calculated to fill the void left by uptorn affections and demolished hopes? I believe I must say, Yes—and yet I shudder. Alas! If I join St. John, I abandon half myself: if I go to India, I go to premature death. (3.8.114)
Jane’s conviction that going to India would kill her—and the novel’s implication that it does kill St. John later—just shows the British prejudice against it. According to this messed-up line of reasoning, a little English angel like Jane could never survive in India, which is, let’s face it, that worst possible thing: not English.