Narrative Voice In Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre

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Narrative Voice:

Narrative voice is the voice of the narrator of a work of literature. Narrative voice involves the manner in which the narrator speaks, the word choices the narrator chooses to employ, and the dialect of the narrator (“Point of View”). The voice of the narrator is exposed through point-of-view, which is the position the narrator takes in relation to the work of literature. Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre is told from the first-person point-of-view of Jane Eyre, who serves as the novel’s protagonist. Jane Eyre is reflecting on a period of her life, ranging from when she was a young, ten year-old girl under the care of her cruel aunt, Mrs. Reed, to when Jane has been married to Mr. Rochester for ten
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Jane Eyre views herself as an equal to the other characters in the novel, including the men. Jane Eyre was written in 1847, a time period where the role of women in society was emphasized to be merely one of having children and completing household chores. Women were expected to be submissive to men, and to not challenge the authority of men, especially those who held a higher social status in society. A prominent example regards Mr. St. John Rivers’ treatment of Jane Eyre when she agrees to travel on his ministry trip with him to India, but under the condition that the pair does not get married. When Jane explains to him her reasoning, as Mr. St. John Rivers does not truly love her and the pair thus should not be married, he grows indignant, insisting that Jane is going against God’s wishes. Jane feels compelled by his intense anger and hints of sarcasm to treat Mr. St. John Rivers with the lack of respect he has treated her with since she blatantly disagreed with his request, as “I was with an equal—one with whom I might argue—one whom, if I saw good, I might resist” (414). Jane does not think she should simply marry Mr. St. John Rivers and follow him to India because that is what is expected of her by the man who took her in when she was begging on the streets; she embraces the notion that she is capable of making her own decisions, despite the judgments of those around her and despite the conventionalities of her

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