St. John Rivers is the clergyman of the parish in Morton and is the brother of Diana Rivers and Mary Rivers. He is later revealed to be Jane Eyre's cousin and he is the admirer of Rosamond Oliver.
He is described to be a very handsome man: tall, slim with Athenian features. His eyes are large and blue and he has rather pale skin which was 'colourless, like ivory.' He also has very fair, blond hair. Jane describes his appearance to look very calm and placid.
St. John Rivers is the opposite to the passionate Mr Rochester: cold, hard-hearted, and repressed. Being a very Christian man, however, he has moral and intellectual superiority to most and prioritizes his faith above pleasure or happiness. Ironically, despite seeming very placid, he has a hardness and restlessness in his character displayed through his reserve and brooding nature. He represses emotional and romantic feelings, especially from Rosamond Oliver, and is weak in her presence. Although he claims to be a devput Christian, he lacks the warmth or compassion that a follower of Christ should be; he is rather apathetic towards others as well.
- Contrary to popular belief, his name is pronounced 'SIN-jun', not 'Saint John'.