Response Essay 2_2012 - The Sensible Narrator In my first...

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The Sensible Narrator In my first reading of Wuthering Heights , I relied on Mr. Lockwood and Nelly merely as a lens into the more fascinating dynamics of Heathcliff, the Lintons, and the Earnshaws. However, after a second reading it seems notable to consider the significance behind the choice of narrators, particularly Nelly, a domesticated, fairly passionless, and often unsympathetic narrator. Though Nelly occasionally becomes emotional in certain situations, she believes herself to be the “one sensible soul” within the Grange’s walls (135). Moreover, her narration is often limited by the fact that she is a domesticated character; as a housekeeper, she cannot follow her companions into the moors and narrate the events that occur there. For a novel so grounded in nature, there are few outdoor scenes actually described, and those that are remain very tame (such as Cathy visiting Linton, only to sit idly next to him.) Some of the most passionate, wild scenes are only touched on briefly; for instance, Heathcliff’s nighttime strolls, and the two times he digs up her coffin. Even
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  • Fall '12
  • AmyKaplan
  • narrator, Narrative mode, Ralph Fiennes, outdoor scenes, Nelly

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