What is the use of past and present simple in the introduction of the novel?

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Present simple tense, as cited in the source below,, is used in several contexts, including: 

  1. when we talk about people or things in general
  2. to indicate general truths, facts and scientific laws
  3. with state (or stative) verbs such as like, dislike, love, think, seem, look, know, feel, understand, want, need, hate, remember, forget, prefer, believe, mean, taste, hear, see.

This, along with past tense, is an appropriate tense to use for a storytelling narrative told from the perspective of time.  In other words, Jane is telling her story both as it happens and from the vantage point of time. 

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.... I was glad of it; I never liked long walks....

It's both a looking back and living through, if you will.  That tone is set early in the novel as we see and feel a young Jane but hear a more mature one. 



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