In a scene from Wuthering Heights where there is a potential for misunderstanding between characters, how would I rewrite it in first-person from the other person's point of view to show the other...

In a scene from Wuthering Heights where there is a potential for misunderstanding between characters, how would I rewrite it in first-person from the other person's point of view to show the other side?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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You might consider the early scene between Heathcliff and Lockwood during which Lockwood has a horrible nightmare about Catherine, while staying the night at Wuthering Heights. This scene is told from Lockwood's point of view because he is the narrator. Though Bronte perfectly represents Heathcliff's feelings and reactions throughout the scene, you might nonetheless turn the point of view around and tell it from Heathcliff's side.

To do this, you must see and feel the whole experience from Heathcliff's perspective. Presumably he is asleep in his room. He doesn't know into which room the servant has escorted Lockwood for the night. As it happens, Lockwood was led into Catherine's old room, the room that is supposed to remain permanently locked up. He hears a scream and recognizes that it comes from Catherine's room. You might begin here, at his startled awakening, with your first-person retelling of the event from Heathcliff's point of view.

He will tell with what force his sleep is broken into. He will tell whether he sits up in bed or finds himself instantly upon his feet in the dark. He will tell of the darkened rooms as he gropes for a match for the candle. He will tell of the trembling that enfolds him as he rushes to the door of Catherine's room. He will tell of the imaginings that hammer at his mind while speaking the words, "Is any one here?"

The whole scene will be retold in this way. I'll give you an example. A portion of the original, told from Lockwood's perspective, says:

‘Always at nine in winter, and rise at four,’ said my host, suppressing a groan: and, as I fancied, by the motion of his arm’s shadow, dashing a tear from his eyes.  ‘Mr. Lockwood,’ he added, ‘you may go into my room: you’ll only be in the way, coming down-stairs so early: and your childish outcry has sent sleep to the devil for me.’

It may be rewritten from Heathcliff's point of view like this: "Always at nine in winter, and rise at four," I said weakly to my guest, though trying to suppress a groan. I fancied he saw my arm's shadow dash a tears from my eyes. "Mr. Lockwood," I added, "you may go into my room: you’ll only be in the way, coming down-stairs so early: and your childish outcry has sent sleep to the devil for me."

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