When Ellen (Nelly) Dean picks up the narration of the story, it is her familiarity with what happened to both families that gives the story its strength. She's almost always in the position of having to be the bearer of fateful news. For example, she has to tell Heathcliff of the first Catherine's death even though she doesn't want to. She sort of imposes herself into the other characters' lives. She boldly questions Catherine about her reasons for marrying Edgar. At the end, she suggests that Heathcliff should make his confession before dying.