A Comparison of Wuthering Heights and Heart of Darkness

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A Comparison of Wuthering Heights and Heart of Darkness

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness are two similar stories in the effect that they both have dual narrators and that the narrators of both are manipulated to tell stories of similar morals. They differ, however, in the narrative frames, points of view, and some personality traits of the narrators.

The dual narrator arrangement of Wuthering Heights begins with Mr. Lockwood, the naive new tenant of Thrushcross Grange. He seems to be quite the social person and goes to visit Heathcliff who is not so social and actually seems downright inhospitable. Due to weather conditions at the time (which Lockwood was not wise to go out in) Lockwood becomes stranded at Wuthering Heights where he feels quite unwelcome. While spending the night at Wuthering Heights, the curious Lockwood snoops through some books where he find things inscribed by Catherine. He hears the voice of Catherine calling, and calls for help. Heathcliff then runs after the girl who is not in fact a girl, but Catherine's ghost. Heathcliff embraces this ghost and dies with her in his arms. That pretty much sums up the narrative present and Lockwood's role as narrator. Out of curiosity (Lockwood's most important personality trait), he asks Nelly Dean questions about Heathcliff and the girl. At this point Nelly takes over the role of narrator and we shift into the narrative past.

Nelly Dean is quite knowledgeable about Wuthering Heights and the events that transpired there; however, she is blunt and opinionated. She does not fail to mention that he has taken a genuine interest in Heathcliff sinc...

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...ts we learn about Heathcliff's character in the beginning of the story. In Heart of Darkness we do not find out about Kurtz until the end. In both stories, we depend greatly on the narrators to illustrate the significance of theirs lives. While Nelly was opinionated, she was still able to illustrate the moral of the story as well as the more objective narrator, Marlow. Heathcliff took possession of both the Grange and the Heights, but lost his true love, and Kurtz had fame, jewels, ivory and the gorgeous amazon woman, but not the love of his Intended. The most important similarity, however, was held in common not only by the narrators but by the reader as well. Without curiosity the story of Wuthering Heights would not have begun, Heart of Darkness would not have continued, and the reader would not have held interest in either one.
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