How does Emily Bronte convey the importance of Heathcliff’s introduction to Wuthering Height on pages 44-48?
In this essay, I will be discussing how Emily Bronte introduces Heathcliff to the novel; and how important the way that she does this, is to the novel as a whole. I will be focussing on Emily Bronte’s language choices and the narrative viewpoint, i.e. Nelly Deans’. I will begin by discussing the reliability of the narrator, through whom we are first introduced to Heathcliff and then I will examine the reactions of the different characters when Heathcliff is first introduced to them, by Mr Earnshaw.
It is through the eyes of local girl, Nelly Dean that we meet Heathcliff for the first time and this makes her one of the most dominant and narratorial voices in the novel, so far. I find Nelly to be a much more level-headed narrator than Lockwood, she appears to be more reliable and this is mainly because she seems to have a perfect memory as she remembers every single word of conversations that happened years ago. This seems to be highly unrealistic but it is necessary for Emily Bronte to do so, so that the reader can form their own opinion of Heathcliff. It is one of the many conventions of this novel. However Nelly doesn’t seem to grasp the full extent of Heathcliff’s emotions as she is blinded due to her own first impressions of him; and so she is a narrator that simply tells us all that we need to know, with no feelings or in-depth emotions involved.
When Old Mr Earnshaw first brings Heathcliff back to Wuthering Heights, the reaction of everybody present (Catherine and Hindley, Mrs Earnshaw and Nelly, herself) is obviously one of shock and confusion. The reader does not find their reactions to be out of the ordinary, or abnormal; and this is mainly because of the language that Emily Bronte uses when describing Heathcliff for the first time. For example, the first words she uses to describe him are, “...dirty, ragged, black-haired...