Choice of Narrator in Wuthering Heights

One of the most interesting, overarching aspects of this novel is the point of view. Firstly, it is told third-hand; Lockwood hears the story from Nelly who watched it herself. This already brings about the idea of an unreliable narrator. Stories change as they’re passed along, and Nelly is certainly biased in the telling of this particular story as she was very involved in it and knew the other characters very well. The unreliability of the narration is something I’d like to get into more, but on another note, I’d like to talk about gender in relation to the narrator of Wuthering Heights.

Emily Bronte wrote this novel under the pseudonym Ellis Bell. Many women writers of this time period wrote under a male pseudonym in order to avoid certain critiques and to be taken more seriously, but Bronte does something unique in the way she replicates this within the storyline and point of view of her novel. I found it especially interesting that Bronte chose to make Nelly the real storyteller, but included Lockwood as a vehicle for getting the word out. I found it representative of her own storytelling– she’s the one spinning the story, but she uses the Bell pseudonym to get the word out, for it to be taken seriously. I don’t have any particularly deep insight into this, but it is something that I’ve thought about throughout my reading of the novel. What are her reasons for displaying this? It would definitely interest me to read more about this.

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