In the novel Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte switches the narrative from Lockwood to Nellie Dean. This change in the narrative gives Bronte the opportunity to introduce feminine qualities such as empathy and compassion into the text. This essay will examine some of the literary techniques that Bronte uses to introduce such feminine qualities. Firstly, the language Nellie Dean uses is explored. Secondly, the symbolic significance of Nellie Dean’s character adds notions of motherhood and nurture. Finally, Bronte’s use of syntax also adds to the feminine qualities of compassion and emotion in the novel. Bronte uses the character of Nellie Dean as an opportunity to infuse the novel with feminine qualities.
The language that Bronte uses to convey Nellie Dean’s narrative brings feminine qualities of compassion and empathy toWuthering Heights. This can be seen when Nellie first discusses Cathy QUOTE important as it can portray emotions that would otherwise be hidden behind words. The word ‘diabolical’ is juxtaposed against the description ‘wonderful constancy’. This means that Nellie can be compassionate towards and empathise with Cathy’s goodness in a place that resembled hell/in a person that was otherwise disagreeable. The juxtaposition shows an act of contradiction, which tells the reader that Nellie is hesitant about expressing a one-dimensional opinion. Nellie is reflective and empathetic when she hesitates to speak ill of Cathy. EXAMPLE - When describing her opinion about someone or something Nellie often contradicts herself in the same sentence. Judgement and compassion are often combined into one sentence. This shows that there is a restraint in what Nellie has to say. She cannot state how she feels outright. This demonstrates that Nellie cannot express her feelings as widely as she could because she is a woman and therefore cannot be outspoken. The language creates this feeling of restraint, therefore showing traditional symbols of feminine qualities of...
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