I'm having difficulty comparing the role and significance of the narrator in both works.... How does the narrator interact, what is his/ her significance, and how can I capitulate on that significance in an essay?
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I think the first thing you need to consider is that the stories have a different point of view. Pride and Prejudice is third person although the narration typically stays with Elizabeth. Jane Eyre is in the first person. From here you can draw all kinds of conclusions. Brontë's Jane is not unreliable narrator more than complex.One has to interpret her rather than simply take all her narration at face value. Austin's narration is somewhat aloof letting the reader judge people from a distance with a slant that is very "Elizabeth". In this way the character of Elizabeth becomes our de facto guide even though the story is written in third person.
How do I write an essay about narrators, though? I mean, the pride and prejudice's narrator is semi detached... but what is "her" role and significance in the novel? How can I expand that into a two thousand word essay? As for Jane Eyre, since the narrator is first person... wouldn't I then be writing on Jane, herself, and comparing that with Austin's narrator?