Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is her most famous work of literature. The narrative style of the novel Wuthering Heights is distinct and combines several methods. The author of the book uses such modes of narration as frame narrative and third-person limited point of view.
The novel is unusual in terms of literary analysis, especially the author’s narration style. It is worthy to note that several characters tell the plot. The multiple narrators present not only the sequence of events. Their own ideas and beliefs are also introduced. This method allows getting to know the characters. They transmit the story closer and help to understand their motives and intentions.
The primary narrator is Lockwood. He narrates the beginning and the end of the novel. Lockwood introduces and draws the readers’ attention to Wuthering Heights and Heathcliff.
“Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff’s dwelling. ‘Wuthering’ being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather. Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed: one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house….”
Lockwood acquaints the readers with Cathy. “I was thrown into the company of a most fascinating creature: a real goddess in my eyes, as long as she took no notice of me. I ‘never told my love’ vocally; still, if looks have language, the merest idiot might have guessed I was over head and ears: she understood me at last, and looked a return—the sweetest of all imaginable looks.”
The primary narrator is the housekeeper of Thrushcross Grange, Nelly Dean. She tells the whole story to Lockwood. This way, Lockwood appears to be an outsider in Wuthering Heights and signifies the readers. He witnesses the sequence of events without taking part in it. Opposite Lockwood, Nelly Dean is an insider of the novel. She has taken an active role in the events. The housekeeper of Thrushcross Grange tells the whole story and describes all the details. The curious fact about the novel is that both speakers present two different generations.
The narration structure is distinct. Nelly describes the events, not in chronological order. Firstly, Lockwood finds out about the death of Heathcliff. Only then he hears the story. This mix of past and present events created a story within a story. The facts are revealed precisely and in detail. Nelly witnesses and participates in the events that she tells about.
In addition, Nelly is the only witness of the story who has stayed alive. She observes the births, deaths, and weddings of other characters. She tells about her emotions and attitude to people and their behavior. The primary narrator shares his opinion too. Together the speakers clarify the sequence of events and the motives of other characters. Lockwood, after hearing the whole novel, is involved in this cruel and violent world. He faces the most terrible events and struggles to accept them. This way, using frame narrative and third-person limited, Emily Brontë managed to tell her novel.