Wuthering Heights

The Purpose and Effect of Structure in Wuthering Heights

A complete structural study of a novel demands preoccupation with structure as both organizational and temporal; in the case of Wuthering Heights especially, the two are inextricably linked. The novel is largely predicated on organization and temporality, and therefore, neglecting to adequately address both aspects of structure simultaneously would yield incomplete analysis. Lockwood acts as scribe and primary first person narrator – yet is often invisible as the bulk of the novel is told in Ellen (Nelly) Dean's terms. Through both narrators, the reader is presented with empirical evidence from various sources and times, among them oral recollection of speech and events – both first and second hand, diary excerpts and diurnal entries, letters – both corporeal and recollected, etc. Wuthering Heights' organizational and temporal structure affects the way the novel is read; it places focus on reader perception of character and reality, the eternal and supernatural, and the relationship between narrator and reader.

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Bronte chose to assemble Wuthering Heights peculiarly. Lockwood's diary – from 1801 to 1802 – is, in essence, Wuthering Heights: it is the text that frames and encapsulates the amalgam of narration,...

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