‘The concept of being an other or outsider appeals to most readers’ Explore the methods writers use to present otherness.
Writers like to present the idea of characters having a sense of otherness and being different from the norm, as they want to make a relatable character that is more true to life. In wuthering heights the nature of the multiple narrators means that a sense of otherness and strangeness is preserved. For example Nelly’s narrative is so dramatised that we could argue that much of it is in the form of a tertiary narration, e.g. the conversation involving Heathcliff, Catherine and Edgar on Heathcliff’s return is recorded in the words of the participants. The effect of this is to present the story directly to the reader so that our perception is constantly changing as if we were witnessing a drama. The difficulty facing the author at the beginning if the novel was to find a method by which the reader could be introduced into the household of the Heights, so that its characters and its ambience could be understood. The purpose of Bronte’s narrative is to draw the reader into a position where he can only judge its events from within making them almost opposite to the outsider that is being presented in the novel.. The narrative form poses severe limitations for the author in that she cannot use her own voice, the story must speak entirely for itself, its values must be self-generated, created for us by the language which must be emotive and strong, particularly in moments of self-revelation and strong feeling. In Wuthering Heights each narrative takes place within the action occupying an important place in the dramatic structure so that the reader never stands completely outside the story, again making sure the reader is never a complete outsider, generating a sense of sympathy for the characters in the story that are outsiders such as Heathcliff. Heathcliff is the embodiment of what is known by literary types as the Byronic hero – a dark,...
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