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Consider the opening three chapters of "Wuthering Heights". How effective are they as an opening to

Uploaded by ukgirl86 on Nov 20, 2003

Consider the opening three chapters of "Wuthering Heights". How effective are they as an opening to the novel?

The first three chapter of "Wuthering Heights" are a strange mix of confusing names, relationships and bizarre scenery. At a glance, it seems the novel is very hard going and nothing compels the reader to continue, but Emily BrontÁ's potent writing style makes us want to persist with the book.
The first three chapters, are narrated in the form of a diary, written by Thrushcross Granges' new tenant Lockwood. Lockwood's diary is very formal and direct both in structure "1801 - I have just returned from a visit to my landlord" and in its language "misanthropists heaven". The formality of the diary does not make for easy reading. At first, it creates a strong sense of distance between the narrator and reader. However, as the chapters progress, we warm slightly to Lockwood, this is intentional of BrontÁ, but unintentional of Lockwood. Through his many little blunders "unluckily it was a heap of dead rabbits." We feel as though we know him more the naiveté of his character shines through. One aspect of narration BrontÁ has made Lockwood particularly good at, is narration of external matters, such as appearances and surroundings "she was slender, and apparently scarcely past girlhood". He is however, unreliable when it comes to judging people. It is obvious to us, as an outsider, that Lockwood is not a good judge of character. He frequently makes mistakes about people. He infers that Heathcliff is a "capital fellow" yet as the reader, we can see that when Heathcliff’s "black eyes withdraw suspiciously" he is not a "capital fellow" at all. Lockwood however does not see this, and this is why the reader must remember that he is not the most reliable of narrators. By using Lockwood to introduce us to the story at Wuthering Heights, we get a good firm grounding. As Lockwood is a newcomer as are we, he sees things much as we would. The assumptions he makes "Mrs Heathcliff, your wife, I mean" we would probably make, if we had not already. By using Lockwood, we are not launched straight into life at Wuthering Heights. We are given an introduction first, so that we can learn about the characters, relationships and life at the house. Although the narration may seem off-putting at first, it does in fact draw the...

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Uploaded by:   ukgirl86

Date:   11/20/2003

Category:   Wuthering Heights

Length:   7 pages (1,573 words)

Views:   3629

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