Is Nelly In Wuthering Heights An Unreliable Narrator?

Updated 30 September, 2024
Nelly Dean works as a valet at Wuthering Heights, and she is one of the narrators of the story. However it is argued that her narrative is often unreliable as she tones and shapes the story to go for whatever she might prefer.
Detailed answer:

In “Wuthering Heights”, the author sets two different narrators, the marginal character in the informed story, the Nelly Dean, and the tenant in the outsider story, Mr. Lockwood. The first narrator is Lockwood, who comes from a distant country and knows nothing about the present and history of wuthering heights. In the first part of the novel, the first three chapters, Lockwood tells the story of his first visit to wuthering heights, describing some puzzling things. Curious, he asked Nelly, the housekeeper, to tell him the whole story of Wuthering Heights. At this time, Nelly Dean acted as both the character and the second narrator of the novel, Mr. Lockwood became as much an audience as the reader.
Nelly is a character who engages in the action of the story she narrates. Her personal speech, while elevated from that of an average servant in rural England, remains approachable and colloquial. Utilizing shorter and less complicated sentences than Lockwood, her story is bursting with a sense of urgency as if she was relating events that happened a few hours ago. The scenes she concentrates on in her narrative are chosen with such precision that the readers who are perceiving the necessary spirit of the story can infer the psychological aspects of each character.
As she tones and shape the story to go for whatever she might prefer, her accounts are helpless against favouritism, regularly profiting by corrections, alters, self-reprieve, and justification. These reports are 'committed to an ordered framework her own encounters, the fundamental actuality of her life,' as per Volger. Her show depends on the characteristic importance she gets from every event, and she would be not able to duplicate an ordered timetable without an individual casing of reference. Subsequently, Nelly's point of view is very straight. Nelly tells the fundamental plot of Wuthering Heights as both an outsider and an insider. Regardless of the way that she doesn't go to similar limits as Heathcliff and Catherine in terms of cruelty, Nelly is a frequent stirrer who thrives on conflict.

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