How can I compare the use of words in Bronte's Wuthering Heights and Dickens' Great Expectations?      Words used in descriptions, insulting and so on.

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You have asked a big question here, so I will focus on one area of interest to both novels which is the point of view in their narration. I think it is fair to say that if you are looking for some general differences, the style in terms of word usage and sentence structure is more complicated in Great Expectations, as Dickens uses a variety of different sentence lengths, at times having very long sentences, and also a wider range of vocabulary. Bronte has a more simplistic style that features less of a range of the aspects that Dickens utilises so ably.

However, considering point of view, on of the key aspects of style in Wuthering Heights is the confused narration that dominates the novel. The story is a story within a story, as Lockwood is the primary narrator, who narrates the tale that Nelly Dean tells him. At times, this is further confused, when Nelly narrates to Lockwood the tales that she herself has been narrated, such as Isabella´s escape from Wuthering Heights. Thus the narration is a kind of "chinese box" style of many different layers and levels, depending above all on the knowledge of Nelly Dean of the characters and events. A fascinating question though is to consider whether Nelly herself is a reliable narrator.

The narration in Great Expectations is a lot less complicated compared to Wuthering Heights, but it is still of interest. The form of first person retrospective narration is used, that allows an older, wiser and more mature Pip to look back and comment - often ironically or sadly - on his actions when he was younger. Thus we often have two accounts of events intermingled - the impressions of the younger Pip with his childish understanding, accompanied by a more mature and reasoned perspective. You might want to look at some of Pip´s conversations with Biddy to see how the younger Pip completely misunderstands and takes umbrage at what Biddy seems to be suggesting, whereas the older Pip is painfully aware of the younger Pip´s arrogance and snobbishness.

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Wuthering Heights

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