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How successful is each author in Remains of the Day and Wuthering Heights in using first person narration to reveal plot and character?

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Introduction

Remains of the Day/Wuthering heights How successful is each author in Remains of the Day and Wuthering Heights in using first person narration to reveal plot and character? The primary similarity between these novels is the use of a framing device which introduces the main plot. However these have different purposes and affects in each novel, in Remains of the Day the framing of Stevens journey serves as a setting the scene for the novel as it starts with a date and the setting of Darlington Hall which is introduced in the prologue. It also partly introduces us to the characters of Stevens and Mr Darlington particularly through the language used by Stevens "It seems increasingly likely that I really will undertake the expedition that has been preoccupying my imagination now for some days" this is the first meeting with Stevens and instantly his class and character to some degree are made known. Wuthering Heights starts in the same way but the effect is more directed towards introducing characters and the setting. It has the feature of introducing the point the novel is at in terms how the present day fits into the narrative as it is set in retrospect whereas Remains of the Day has the effect of moving forward physically but backwards mentally, it progresses while being in the past while Wuthering Heights seems to stops in time then go back and come up to date. ...read more.

Middle

For example in Wuthering Heights thunderstorms and ice are used often "on that bleak hill top the earth was hard with a black frost, and the air made me shiver through every limb" this is a very powerful example of pathetic fallacy used, it suggests isolation and coldness, dark colours are also used a lot in the description of Wuthering Heights suggesting melancholy. In Remains of the Day it is used very differently as calmness, rain and greyness are used most often "...simply staring at the rain from the window of my table" which suggests misery and stand still also a lack of hope or ambition, towards the end of the novel "the sky over the sea has turned a pale red" suggests change as it contrasts so strongly with the other uses of pathetic fallacy throughout the novel. This technique is important in both conveying emotion on a subconscious level because it has an effect without the reader knowing it. An interesting point in Remains of the Day is who the audience is as the narration makes direct links to the reader in the use of "you" which can be quite intrusive. Explanations could be that it is somewhat of a diary of journal entry so the audience is himself as he is undertaking the journey alone, or it could well be that there is no audience as it is a review of memories with little actual verbalisation, more ...read more.

Conclusion

The meeting with miss Kenton/Mrs Benn is portrayed as relatively emotional which has a strong effect on the reader "you really mustn't let any more foolish ideas come between yourself and the happiness you deserve" suggesting that the false hope he harbours is preventing him form finding happiness and the realisation sets in on Mr Stevens that indeed she is right. This theme is more predominant in Wuthering Heights with the obvious love between Catherine and Heathcliff even after she has gone which is not hidden "oh my hearts darling; hear me this time, Catherine, at last!" Which comes after Lockwoods dream in which he sees Catherine's spectre at the window and even in death they are portrayed as together "they's Heathcliff, and a woman" which strongly symbolises the unrequited love between them as Catherine betrayed this and married Edgar but still remained faithful to her love for Heathcliff and introduces a gothic quality giving the novel a darker and more unrealistic feel. Another example of unrequited love in Wuthering Heights is that of Lockwood and his story of why he proved himself unworthy of a comfortable home. "...a real goddess in my eyes, as long as she took no notice of me" this is quite a sad tale and has the effect of sympathy for Lockwood as it would seem that he had the same problem as Stevens of not knowing how to react to other people. ...read more.

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