Emily Bronte got much repute and reputation as a promising novelist of the Victorian age. Wuthering Heights is a maiden novel an no wonder in her debut as a novelist, she was riding on the wave of popularity. In Wuthering Heights her protean genius is perceptible. She exhibited her artistic skill and talent. The narrative technique of this novel are par-excellence. There is novelty, newness and originality in her narrative technique. Usually in the novels of Dickens, Hardy and Fielding the chief character narrates the story in first person ‘I’. The other method of the art of narrative is to introduce a detached observer who becomes the narrator of the story. Emily Bronte has employed the latter method with certain changes that have given great attraction to her narrative style. The only deviation is that instead of one narrator she introduces two narrators.
The two narrators are Lockwood and Nelly Dean. Nelly being the principal narrator, the major portion of this story is narrated by her. But Lockwood is the initiator of the story. He sets the ball of this story rolling and after that the entire events of the story are unfolded by Nelly Dean. Right from the first to the three chapters are narrated by Lockwood the tenant of Heathcliff at Thrushcross Grange. The story of Wuthering Heights centers round the two families Mr.Earnshaw and Mr.Linton. Heathcliff is an out sider picked and brought up by Mr. Earnshaw. But later on because of the turn of the tide Heathcliff becomes the master of the two houses. His meteoric rise, his poignant tragedy, his passionate love, his intense emotion and his deep sense of revenge have been narrated by Nelly. The events of the life of Heathcliff, Catherine and the other characters have been narrated with much skill, perfection, thrill and suspended. The stories told by Nelly are true and without any bias, she narrates all that she knew and all that she knows. While, narrating the stories, she sometimes gives her own comments. Her narration is a min of comments . Nelly sincerely presents the matter of fact accounts of two families. There is neither exaggeration nor any curtailment of events.
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Although Lockwood starts telling the story about the present condition and attitude of Heathcliff, he does not have any idea about the past events of his life. But interestingly Lockwood’s art of narration has the quality of detached narrator. He is much detached from the events and as such his narration is more important than that of Nelly. His conducts with the characters are minimums and there has been no efforts on his part to twist or to distort the facts. Lockwood is emotionally cold and he presents the matter of fact account of the events. Really Emily Bronte introduces a new narrative technique to give great charm to her novel. Interestingly in this novel the story begins not at the beginning of the novel, it unfolds the main thirst of the story towards the end of the story with impression of Lockwood, the visitor narrator who hears the story from Nelly. The first three chapters of this novel are narrated by Lockwood and it is Lockwood who narrates and describes the stormy and mysterious atmosphere of Wuthering Height.
Although Bronte’s narrative technique exhibits her skill, perfection and novelty. Yet it is complex. However, even the fastidious critics have praised for her narrative technique. In brief, Bronte’s technique of narrative art is superb. There is newness and novelty. She has given good bye to the worn out style. The plot structure is complex even than the narration moves smoothly with suspense thrill and without any cause. What is more the method of introducing two narrators has made her narrative technique a model of the novelist of the present generation.