The Narrative Structure of Wuthering Heights and Heart of Darkness Essay

The Narrative Structure of Wuthering Heights and Heart of Darkness Essay

Length: 1147 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Narrative Structure of Wuthering Heights and Heart of Darkness

    Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte was first published in 1847, during the Victorian Era. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad was first published as a complete novel in 1902, beginning what is referred to as the Modernist Era in literature. Each of these compelling stories is narrated by an uninvolved character who is quoting a story told to them by a character who actually participated in the story being told. There are both differences and similarities in these effective methods of narration that reflect the styles and expectations of those times. 


In Bronte's Wuthering Heights, the character of Lockwood begins the tale, and then moves into recounting the oration of the history of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange as seen through the eyes of Nelly Dean. Lockwood's additions to the story are limited to the beginning of the novel and to the end, and to one occasion when he pleads with Nelly Dean, "Draw your knitting out of your pocket-that will do-now continue the history of Mr. Heathcliff, from where you left off, to the present day"(WH 70). Nelly Dean, who was an active participant in some of the episodes she tells of (but not all of them) tells the bulk of the story to the reader.


In Conrad's Heart of Darkness, an unnamed seaman is recounting a tale told to him by Captain Marlow. The unnamed narrator's appearance is interspersed throughout the story, reminding the reader that it is a story being told to a group of sailors. "I listened, I listened on the watch for the sentence, for the word, that would give me the clue to the faint uneasiness inspired by this narrative that seemed to shape itself without human lips in the he...

... middle of paper ...

...the same type of narrative frame, each is indicative of the time when it was written.


Emily Bronte wrote Nelly Dean's narrative to fit with the times and the audience of 1847. Fifty-five years later Joseph Conrad began the Modernist Era with his narrative by Marlow, and captured the attention of a new audience. As things changed and time moved on, so did the audiences for British Literature.


Works Cited and Consulted

Bressler, Charles E. Literary Criticism. New Jersey. Prentice Hall, 1999.

Bronte, Emily.  Wuthering Heights.  W.W. Norton: New York, 1990.

Conrad, Joseph. "Heart of Darkness" The Longman Anthology British Literature. Ed. David Damrosch. Longman. New York. 2000. 2190-2246.

Damrosch, David, et al., ed.  The Longman Anthology of British Literature: Vol. B.  Compact ed.  New York: Longman - Addison Wesley Longman, 2000.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparing Heart of Darkness and Wuthering Heights Essay

- Similarities between Heart of Darkness and Wuthering Heights   Although Joseph Conrad's novel, Heart of Darkness, and Emily Bronte's, Wuthering Heights, were written in different era, they do in fact share a few similarities.   First of all, Heart of Darkness and Wuthering Heights compare in the manner that both novels draw on their respective author's personal experiences. Emily Bronte, who wrote in the latter Romantic Period but also had characteristics of Victorian writers, was left motherless at the age of two and spent most of her life with her father and siblings in Haworth, England....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Strong Essays
735 words (2.1 pages)

A Comparison of Wuthering Heights and Heart of Darkness Essay example

- 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....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast Essays]

Strong Essays
841 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights

- The purpose of this paper is to assess the novel, "Wuthering Heights," by Emily Bronte, particularly within the context of the character, Catherine. Catherine plays a prominent role throughout "Wuthering Heights." For the most part, it is her love of Heathcliff which represents the crutch of the human struggle encountered by Catherine, as well as other characters throughout the story -- but especially Catherine. Curiously, relationships of that period were more often than not governed by social convention....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1469 words (4.2 pages)

Description Of Heathcliff In Wuthering Heights Essay

- Heathcliff is the main character in Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights, and the entirety of the plot revolves around this disturbing man from the point when he arrives at Wuthering Heights as a dark and filthy foundling to when he dies as a powerful landlord of both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. This evolution of the character and the fact that he is only described by three narrators and doesn’t make a clear statement of his own makes him one of the most fascinating and mysterious characters in literature....   [tags: Wuthering Heights, Catherine Earnshaw]

Strong Essays
2088 words (6 pages)

Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte Essay

- Over the course of human existence, the idea of class structure and the division of individuals based on their societal rank and position has remained tried and true. From King Henry II’s monarchal vice grip on his English followers in the 11th century, to Hitler’s physical and mental disparaging of the Jews, the subjugation of people based on their place in society has endured as a common development. Similarly, in Emily Brontë’s Gothic novel Wuthering Heights, Brontë as a whole criticizes that Victorian society is ruled by aristocrats, corrupt noble families and individuals with great materialistic possessions....   [tags: Wuthering Heights, Catherine Earnshaw]

Strong Essays
2288 words (6.5 pages)

Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte Essay

- Heathcliff’s Demonic Personality “Cruelty, like every other vice, requires no motive outside of itself; it only requires opportunity”. In the novel, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, cruelty is vividly shown through the character Heathcliff. This novel takes place during the 1800s and focuses on social relevance, and supernatural ideas. The novel is a series of narratives which involves two families, known as Lintons and Earnshaws. The main character Heathcliff, who causes many problems, is believed to be a cruel character....   [tags: Wuthering Heights, Catherine Earnshaw]

Strong Essays
1216 words (3.5 pages)

Title Analysis : Wuthering Heights Essay

- [IRS Journal] Book One – “Wuthering Heights” Title Analysis: “Wuthering Heights” Wuthering (local adjective used within the text): an adjective used to describe the fierce and wild winds that blow during storms on the moors Through this analysis of the title, one can assume that the winds which blow across the moors during the storms may represent the conflicts which seem to occur so often in Wuthering Heights between the characters (Heathcliff and Catherine etc.) Text Style: Gothic Literature: Gothic literature is a literary style which was popular towards the end of the 18th century, and was usually portrayed as a fantastical tale dealing with horror, despair, the grotesque and other...   [tags: Wuthering Heights, Love, Gothic fiction]

Strong Essays
2107 words (6 pages)

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights - Frame Narrative Essay

- 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....   [tags: Wuthering Heights Essays]

Strong Essays
834 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on The Jealous Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights

- The Jealous Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights     Throughout Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff's personality could be defined as dark, menacing, and brooding. He is a dangerous character, with rapidly changing moods, capable of deep-seeded hatred, and incapable, it seems, of any kind of forgiveness or compromise. In the first 33 chapters, the text clearly establishes Heathcliff as an untamed, volatile, wild man and establishes his great love of Catherine and her usage of him as the source of his ill humor and resentment towards many other characters....   [tags: Wuthering Heights Essays]

Strong Essays
1505 words (4.3 pages)

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Essay examples

- Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights 1. What techniques are used in the characterization of Heathcliff. Effects. Heathcliff is associated with evil and darkness from the beginning of the novel. "I felt his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows." (1) When Lockwood sees Heathcliff's garden (perhaps a symbol for Heathcliff) "the earth was hard with a black frost…the air made me shiver through every limb." (6) When we see Heathcliff when he is first brought into the E...   [tags: Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte]

Strong Essays
981 words (2.8 pages)