Heathcliff’s 2nd narrative: Chapter 29.

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Lockwood’s sentences are often complex consisting of a number of clauses or long phrases, frequently separated by dashes or semi-colons, examples, "he probably swayed by the presidential considerations of the folly of offending a good tenant - released a little in the laconic style of chipping of his pronouns and auxiliary and introducing what he supposed would be a subject of interest to me." A noticeable aspect of Lockwood’s style is his use of words of Latin origin, e.g. prudential, laconic, auxiliary. By the end of Chapter 3, Lockwood’s style has become more complex in that his sentence structure is complicated, large numbers of adjectival and adverbial clause, a liberal use of the semi-colon and comma, to give the impression of a narrator whose command of language is sophisticated. "My human fixture and her satellites, rushed to welcome me; explaining tumultuously, they had completely given me up; everybody conjectured (guessed) that I perished last night; and they were wondering how they must set about the search for my remains.

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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. Lockwood presents the normal outsider or the reader, by drawing him into the penetralium, the reader is cleverly introduced to the realities of this hostile and bewildering environment. 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. We, like Lockwood, find ourselves as the direct recipients of Nelly’s narrative, we are immediately inside the world of Wuthering Heights and therefore the events loom large and have a more dramatic impact, because they are not prefaced for us by editorial comment or introduction provided in the first person by the author.

Thus the novel itself begins at a point where the action is almost completed. The questions which Lockwood asks of Nelly Dean, promote answers which give him little insight but it is Lockwood’s fascination with the character of Mr. Heathcliff which causes his mind to become "tiresomely active", thus requiring a full circumstantial narrative. The kind of curiosity aroused by Bronte in Lockwood and therefore in the reader, demands a complete imaginative reliving of the past. It is only through experiencing the events as Lockwood did from Heathcliff’s arrival to that point in time that he can be in a position to understand the complex set of relationships he witnessed in the household of Wuthering Heights, that is why the apparently artificial narrative structure is both necessary and convincing and we accept its conventions without questions. Past and present interact on one another forming a single close knit drama without division into parts.

MỤC TIÊU KHÓA HỌCKhóa học nhằm mục đích cung cấp cho học viên những

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.

MỤC TIÊU KHÓA HỌCKhóa học nhằm mục đích cung cấp cho học viên những

Lockwood uses an educated literacy language marked by detailed factual description and perceptive observation and comment, both on situation and character. An example of this is his description of Hareton "Meanwhile, the young man had slung onto his person a decidedly shabby upper garment, and, erecting himself before the blaze, looked down on me from the corner of his eyes, for all the world as if there was some mortal feud unavenged still between us. I began to doubt whether he was a servant or not... his bearing was free, almost haughty and he showed none of a domestic’s assiduity in attending to the lady of the house."

MỤC TIÊU KHÓA HỌCKhóa học nhằm mục đích cung cấp cho học viên những

Nelly’s value as a narrator is clear from this example, she brings us very close to the action and is in one way deeply engaged in it. The intimate affairs of the Grange and the Heights have taken up her whole life, however, her position as a professional housekeeper means that her interests in events is largely practical. She provides the inner frame of the narrative and we see this world of the successive generations of Earnshaw’s and Linton’s through her eye’s, although much of the dialogue, in the interests of objectivity, is that of the characters themselves. As a narrator reporting the past from the present, she has the benefit of hindsight and can therefore depart from the straight chronological narrative to hint at the future.

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A major contrast between Nelly and Lockwood is that she, to an extent, is a character within her own narrative, which causes her several problems. At times she is involved in the action, she is now describing and therefore she treads a difficult path between romantic indulgence and moral rectitude, she both encourages and discourages relationships. Her attitude to theme sways between approval and disapproval, depending on her mood. This is primarily evident in the role she plays in the love triangle between Heathcliff, Catherine and Edgar; at times taking Edgar’s side while yet arranging the last meeting between Heathcliff and Catherine by leaving the window open for him. She adopted a similar position between the relationship between Cathy and Linton, at time colluding with Cathy and at other times judging and betraying her for writing against her father’s wishes. There is an ambivalence in Nelly’s attitude and this combined with her meddling nature renders her moral stance inconsistent and even hypocritical. Despite these shortcomings, she is vigorous, lively narrator with a formidable memory whose energy and unflagging interests allow the reader an insight into the lives of characters.