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Two Narrators

In Wuthering Heights, the two main narrators are Mr. Lockwood and Nelly
Dean. I believe that both are important not only as narrators but as characters in
the novel. Emily Bront might have chosen them as narrators because of the output
that their characters bring to the novel and because of the way they view the other
characters as well.

Lockwood is a tenant at Thrushcross Grange, owned by Heathcliff. We are

first introduced to Lockwood in the first chapter, when he goes to Wuthering Heights.
He is a slightly arrogant man because of his different social status and he does not
know how to handle Wuthering Heights inhabitants due to the differences in their
personalities. Inasmuch as he is unfamiliar with them, he often misreads events
and personalities. He is a cultured man and is very polite with Heathcliff, hence
disapproving when Heathcliff does not shake his hand.

Lockwood first describes the Heights as an inhospitable place and notices

that grass grows up between the flags, and cattle are the only hedgecutters. He
later contradicts himself and supposes that Heathcliff must have many servants. This
demonstrates that he is not quite a reliable narrator. He also describes Heathcliff as
being a gentleman but criticizes him when he hides his hand in his coat. He describes
Heathcliff and himself as being misanthropes. This being said, we can assume that
Lockwood is not a good judge of character.

Lockwood, unlike the other characters, is a more cultured man and he is a

correct man, proper. He has not lived his entire live near Gimmerton, but rather he
has lived in a wealthier, more educated part of England. He doesnt know Gimmerton
very well, since he remarks that it is certainly a beautiful country. He adds that he
has not seen a place so completely removed from the stir of society, In all England

It is important that Lockwood being a narrator is an outsider because that way

he is not biased by the inhabitants in the Heights since he is unfamiliar with their
stories, he has not grown up with them, he just passes by. He is an incentive for Ellen
to narrate the story of young Catherine and Heathcliff. He thinks to himself, Oh, Ill
turn the talk on my landlords family! and so we see Nellys narration to Lockwood

On the other hand, Ellen Dean, otherwise known as Nelly, is the housekeeper
at Wuthering Heights, I ran errands too and is the principal narrator. Being the
housekeeper at Wuthering Heights brings advantages to being the main narrator of the
novel, she knows every inhabitant at Wuthering Heights very well and is a witness of
various events in the novel.

Lockwoods first impressions of Nelly are that she is a righteous woman, a

woman you can rely on. The way that Lockwood describes her makes the reader trust
her, hence being certain that her narration will be correct and well-founded.

Mrs. Dean is a loved character and the inhabitants of the Heights trust her
since they have known her for a long while, I was almost always at Wuthering
Heights. She is more often a friend or a companion rather than a housekeeper.
Catherine told her many of her secrets and this is shown by the following quote said
by Catherine Earnshaw, [...] That will do to explain my secret, as well as ther other

Due to the fact that Ellen has grown up with the inhabitants at Wuthering
Heights, she is biased to whom she likes better, so the advice she gives, is subjective.
She sometimes chooses Heathcliff over Edgar, [...] Make haste, and let me dress
you smart before Miss Cathy comes out [...] She tries to help him look better for
Catherine. That Nellys narration is told subjectively, affects how we think of the
characters because we are influenced by what Nelly, who has known them for long,
has to say about them, they make her narration complicated.

It is important that Ellen is a down-to-earth character because that way she

brings a level of balance to the novel. Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw both have
such a wild and passionate nature, that there needed to be someone there to pull
them back to earth when they became too impulsive. At one point, Catherine believes
that she can help Heathcliff, [...] if I marry Linton I can aid Heathcliff to rise, she
thinks that way, she will be able to set him free of Hindleys tyranny.

In conclusion, I find that both narrators bring something good to the novel.
Lockwood, even though he misunderstands events, is an outsider and hence, less
biased in his narration. Due to the fact that he is an outsider and does not know the
inhabitants story, Nelly narrates the past to him and we are able to understand how
live at Wuthering Heights worked. They both facilitate the readers to look into the
lives of those in Wuthering Heights.