Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Point of View

"It is astonishing how sociable I feel myself, compared with him." (pg 10)

Something that I found interesting about Wuthering Heights is the perspective in which it is narrated to the reader. It is not told by someone close to Heathcliff, but rather from the third person point of view of Lockwood, who is a tenant of Heathcliff's living on Thrushcross Grange. Lockwood's first impressions and encounters with Heathcliff are told to the audience, but from then on his history is told by another third party observer: Nelly Dean. The structure of the novel is mostly in the form of storytelling, and since it is a story within a story it could be classified as a framestory. Upon beginning the novel, the reader is unaware of how all the characters relate to one another until Nelly's narration explains all of their relationships. Also, Bronte makes it easy to keep track of time passing because she interrupts Nelly's storytelling by entering back into Lockwood's point of view. For instance, when he is dozing off Nelly says:
"But Mr. Lockwood, I forget these tales cannot divert you. I'm annoyed how I should dream of chattering on at such a rate; and your gruel cold, and you nodding for bed!"
This clever interruption keeps the reader in track of how much time is passing and how Lockwood is processing the information being revealed about Heathcliff. It is yet another component to Bronte's novel which enhances its effectiveness.

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