Narrator and point of view

The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is told from the perspective of a first-person narrator, who is also the main character, Jane. The narrator presents the story of the past twenty years of her life as though she is writing an autobiography, which is why the novel was initially published under the name Jane Eyre: An Autobiography.

The narrator tells the story retrospectively as her thirty-year-old self. As such, she often interrupts the narration with comments that show she has a wider understanding and context of the events that happened in her life, such as “I could not answer the ceaseless inward question – why I thus suffered; now, at the distance of – I will not say how many years, I see it clearly” (Chapter 2, 56%). This shows that the narrator presents these events from a different perspective than the one she had when she experienced them, having had time to grow and reflect on her past. 

The narrator also admits to only recounting the events which she believes will be of interest to readers: 

Hitherto I have recorded in detail the events of my insignificant existence: to the first ten years of my life, I have given almost as many chapters. But this is not to be a regular autobiography. I am only bound to invoke Memory whe...

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