Wuthering Heights - Narrative Structure

Topics: Wuthering Heights, Fiction, Catherine Linton Pages: 2 (723 words) Published: March 30, 2011
How effective is the narrative structure in Wuthering Heights? Wuthering Heights has a unique and complex narrative structure. There are the two main narrators, Lockwood and Nelly, they each are eyewitness narrators as they have took part in the story they describe. The novel is organised in such a way that it is a narrative within a narrative, what some critics would call “Chinese boxes” or frame narrative. Lockwood is used to open and end the novel, Bronte uses him to represents the outer frame of the story in which the readers can relate to, and this cleverly draws us into the hostile and bewildering environment of Wuthering Heights, “... a wilderness of crumbling griffins, I detected a date “1500”, and a name “Hareton Earnshaw”. I would have requested a short history of the place, from the surly owner, but his attitude at the door appeared to demand my speedy entrance or complete departure...” This extract presents a formal and detached tone which is wholly descriptive and perceptive; he describes the situation as he sees it, including precise detail which allows the reader to become closer to the action at present. He responds as the reader does when presented with the vocative “Hareton Earnshaw” it urges us to ask questions, however we get no answers, a technique Bronte uses effectively to keep us engaged and interested. Bronte has purposely created a narrator who is self conscious and conforming of society’s norm and values who finds himself in unfamiliar territory as he refers to the moors as “A perfect misanthropist’s Heaven”. His comments and judgements are typical of an outsider within a completely alien environment which leads to him constantly misinterpreting sights and characters “Ah, your favourites are among these! I continued, turning to an obscure cushion full of something like cats... Unluckily, it was a heap of dead rabbits”. The narrative used engages sympathy, while also creating amusement at the narrator’s expense. Also Lockwood’s focus on...
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