Comment on the way Lockwood and Nelly Dean complement each other as narrators in Wuthering Height

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lynnebh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Nelly and Mr. Lockwood are both characters and narrators in this novel. Nelly has a unique perspective as a narrator, however, because she has been an eye witness to most of the events and provides the historical narrative to which Mr. Lockwood reacts. He seeks to fill in the history of the families of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange through Nellie. Each time he meets one of the current inhabitants, he has more questions for Nellie. Lockwood and Nellie are very different characters. Nellie is more emotionally attached to the characters and their stories, but her narrative does not really reflect the passion between the characters – in fact, she seems to not have an understanding of the passions that motivate Catherine and Heathcliff. She is opinionated, however, and speaks her mind when she feels she needs to do so with Catherine, Heathcliff and the younger generation. Lockwood  seems kind of dense at times – at first he really likes Heathcliff. He is not as perceptive as Nellie, but that is also because he is viewing things from the present, looking back, whereas Nellie has experienced the events in the past and is bringing them into the present.

 

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