Describe how Ellen Dean has first-hand knowledge of both of the families and is so well acquainted with the events of this novel.

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sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ellen Dean, or Nelly, is a trusted servant for the Earnshaws and has been for years.  "Nelly is loyal but conventional, and reads very little into events, " says the enotes discussion.  It continues:  "Nelly's familiarity with the actors is an important element of the narration, and a hazard of her station is that she must repeatedly be the bearer of news that will move the action in a fateful direction."  She is a person who speaks her mind when called upon but who has little self interest. We often have her observations of a character and her/his actions even if she had not told these opinions to the character.She is with the family when they bring Heathcliff home, understanding and loving in different degrees the members, aware of their cruelty to Heathcliff but equally aware that becomes a misfit. She knows Cathy's ability to be cruel, and tells her it is not right to marry Linton. As for the Lintons, she works for them at times too, living with them with Cathy goes to marry Linton.

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Wuthering Heights

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