Wuthering Heights Switch from Lockwood to Nellie Dean Essay

720 Words Dec 30th, 2011 3 Pages
In the novel Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte switches the narrative from Lockwood to Nellie Dean. This change in the narrative gives Bronte the opportunity to introduce feminine qualities such as empathy and compassion into the text. This essay will examine some of the literary techniques that Bronte uses to introduce such feminine qualities. Firstly, the language Nellie Dean uses is explored. Secondly, the symbolic significance of Nellie Dean’s character adds notions of motherhood and nurture. Finally, Bronte’s use of syntax also adds to the feminine qualities of compassion and emotion in the novel. Bronte uses the character of Nellie Dean as an opportunity to infuse the novel with feminine qualities.

The language that Bronte uses to
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Her job as a maid is an occupation that is generally filled by women. Being a maid emphasises Nellie’s symbol of femininity as a maid is seen as loving and nurturing, as they are caregivers. Nellie has the opportunity to leave Wuthering Heights many times but never does. This is because she is too emotionally attached to the children who live there and they are her family. ** Her choice reflects her emotional attachment and love towards the family members, as traditionally understood to be feminine qualities. This shows the raw emotions of compassion and empathy that Nellie has which enhances her feminine qualities.

The use of syntax throughout Wuthering Heights is an important tool Bronte uses when portraying feminine qualities. Syntax emphasises emotion especially that of women. When Nellie Dean is narrating there is a significant increase in exclamation marks, semicolons and dashes. Exclamation marks emphasise an emotion that the person is feeling. It shows the enthusiasm and emphasis the person is putting on their point they are making. Semicolons and dashes indicate a pause in conversation or thought. These come up regularly when Nellie Dean is retelling the story of Wuthering Heights. It shows that women are more emotional and take their time to say something as they possibly feel they cannot express their feelings as widely as they would like to. Men on the other hand bear less consequences for their words and are…

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