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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - Barron's Booknotes
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FORM AND STRUCTURE

Part of what makes Wuthering Heights such an extraordinary
novel is its complicated narrative structure. Although telling a
story from different, limited points of view has become
common in this century, when Emily Bronte was writing, most
novels featured an omniscient narrator-someone (often, but not
always the author) who was not a character in the book, but
who could address the reader, comment on the action, and
describe the thoughts and feelings of any of the people in the
story. Wuthering Heights broke the mold; it is told solely by
characters in the book, most notably Mr. Lockwood and Ellen
Dean, although portions of Ellen's narrative include stories told
to her by others.



The narrative itself consists of stories-within-stories-within-
stories. Take a look, for instance, at Joseph's description of the
dissipation at Wuthering Heights after Heathcliff's return. It is
quoted in Ellen's warning to Isabella against Heathcliff, which
is in her story to Lockwood, which is in Lockwood's story to
you. Early readers were put off by this, seeing it as
unnecessarily complicated and confusing; but most readers
today view it as one of the novel's great strengths.

This book is full of doubles. There are two generations, each
occupying half the chapters. There are two households, each
with distinctive qualities. And the actions revolve around pairs
of children (Heathcliff and Cathy, the younger Cathy and
Linton, the younger Cathy and Hareton).

Table of Contents


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Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - Barron's Booknotes
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