Narrative Voices in Wuthering Heights

1500 Words6 Pages
Wuthering Heights is notable for its use of multiple narrative voices intricately woven together to effectively tell a complex story that takes place over many years while reinforcing and enhancing some of the themes the novel explores. There are two main narrative voices introduced early on in the novel, those of Lockwood and Nelly but through these characters the narratives of other characters are also heard through a combination of eye witness accounts and the quoting of letters. In this way, the tertiary narratives from main characters connect together to give a more complete account of events. The multitude of perspectives also gives the reader a deeper sense of immersion with a text which has been described as ‘a story of undying elemental passion’ (da Sousa Correa, 2012, p. 351). To access the thoughts and feelings of the main actors in the novel is to vicariously experience their passions and so their narratives stand out against the more objective narratives of Lockwood and Nelly as well as offering more potential for discussion with other readers who may feel more sympathy for some characters than others. Lockwood is the main narrator who introduces us to the characters of Wuthering Heights - his entrance to the house is the point at which the reader also crosses the threshold and it is his thoughts we read at the very end. This narrative ‘framing’ effect neatly encapsulates the story and provides an element of objectivity in contrast to the testimonies of the more passionate main characters. Even when it is apparent his welcome is not as warm as he had expected, he continually demonstrates good manners and his educated language is notable and in stark contrast with the nearly incomprehensible local dialect of Joseph upon whom he comments; ‘I charitably conjectured he must have need of divine aid to digest his dinner’ (Bronte, 1847, p.4) When considered
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