Wuthering Heights: Frame Narrative
Frame narrative is described as a story within a story. In each frame, a different individual is narrating the events of the story. There are two main frames in the novel Wuthering Heights. The first is an overlook provided by Mr. Lockwood, and the second is the most important. It is provided by Nelly Dean, who tells the story from a first-person perspective, and depicts the events that occur through her life at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.
Nelly Dean is a native of the moors and has lived all her life with the characters whose story she tells. Although she is an uneducated woman, Emily Bronte manages to express Nelly as a capable storyteller in two explanations. The first is how Lockwood comments on her intelligence and expression, and believes she is one of the more intelligent minds of the moors:
Excepting a few provincialisms of slight consequence, you have no marks of the manners which I am habituated to consider as peculiar to your class. I am sure that you have thought a good deal more than the generality of servants think. You have been compelled to cultivate your reflective faculties for want of occasion for frittering your life away in silly trifles.
The second explanation of Nelly’s thought and expression is through the wisdom she has achieved through the harsh discipline she has endured over her life, and through the good libraries at the Heights and Grange that have given her knowledge and a wide vocabulary.
Miss. Dean never mentions anyone ...
... middle of paper ...
...es: he minded little what tale was told since he had what he wanted.”
Her criticism of the other characters and her loyalty towards them not only make her a good narrator, but also an excellent servant and a confidant to the characters. Even though she is a servant, her intelligence and knowledge of self-worth create equality between her and the other characters, giving her the ability to speak her mind. Nelly’s narration comes from being closely and privately involved in the lives of the characters in the story. She not only acts as a witness to the events in their lives, but also as somewhat of a judge and critic to their actions. Nelly is our guide through the story, and without her voice, we would never be aware of the strange and amazing events that occurred in Wuthering Heights.
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