Consider the Importance of the Method of Narration Employed in Wuthering Heights Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 10 January 2017

Consider the Importance of the Method of Narration Employed in Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights is written by Emily Jane Brontë and narrated by Ellen Dean (Nelly), a servant of both Catherine Earnshaw and her daughter, Catherine Linton. Emily Brontë must have thought she was the most convenient of characters to narrate this novel as Nelly was alive through each generation of both the Earnshaw and Linton families. Had someone like Catherine Earnshaw narrated the novel, it might have finished at her death or would have switched narration. Also, this could have made the narration more bias, whereas Nelly, who still plays a reasonably large role as she mixes with all the characters, witnesses and observes the goings on as an onlooker first hand.

However, Nelly often interferes with the lives of the characters which could have altered the forth coming events. In my opinion, one of the key times of her meddlesome attitude in the novel is reflected when she carries a letter between Heathcliff and Cathy Earnshaw who also receives permission to visit Cathy when she is ill-against Edgars wishes. She is often seen to be carrying letters between different characters which are considered to be forbidden.

On the other hand, she sometimes decides to hold onto information rather than pass it on, such as when Edgar’s wife Catherine becomes increasingly ill Nelly fails to inform him.

A possible downfall to having Nelly as the narrator could be that her personal opinions are shown too much in the novel, creating a biased view. Her actions are also influenced by her opinions which again produce a bias outcome as she helps those characters she favours, such as the Earnshaw siblings she grew up with over Edgar. This concept is shown in her actions as she keeps some secrets to herself instead of revealing them to Edgar, like when his daughter and Hareton’s relationship grows and Nelly ignores it.

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  • Date: 10 January 2017

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