The narrator, Jane Eyre, is ten years old in chapter 1. Which of the following words best describes her: Athletic, cheerful, fearful, imaginative, rebellious, passionate, timid, intelligent

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There are many words one could use to describe Jane Eyre in the first chapter. Of the list provided, I would select "timid" or "intelligent." We know that Jane is timid and shy because of her responses to her cousin, John.

As Jane is sitting on a window seat reading a book, John comes looking for her. We know that he has a history of abusing Jane. The author, Charlotte Bronte, explains that Jane was "[a]ccustomed to John Reed's abuse" (ch. 1). Jane, rather than retaliating, typically accepts or "endure[s]" these attacks (ch. 1). When John, called Master Reed by Jane, comes close to finding her, Jane steps out and asks him: "'What do you want?,' . . . with awkward diffidence." (ch. 1)

The word diffidence means modesty or shyness. The fact that she is hidden in a window seat, reading by herself, also implies that she is timid and reserved. Additionally, Jane's decision to endure her cousin's abuse, rather than standing up for herself, shows that she is a reserved, quiet, and likely a shy character.

Jane is also clearly intelligent. She chooses to read "Bewick's History of British Birds" quietly in her free time (ch. 1). Even as a young child, Jane enjoys reading. From reading, she "formed an idea of [her] own: shadowy, like all the half-comprehended notions that float dim through children's brains, but strangely impressive." (ch. 1)

This passage shows that Jane, as a young child, already partially understands this complex book about science. She doesn't fully understand it, as she is a child, but she does want to understand. This intellectual curiosity will continue to grow throughout the novel. Jane can be described as a timid and an intelligent character in the first chapter of the book.

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