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Methods Emily Bronte uses to engage the interest of the reader in the early chapters of the novel Wuthering Heights.

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Introduction

Methods Emily Bronte uses to engage the interest of the reader in the early chapters of the novel Wuthering Heights. Written in the Victorian Age, Wuthering Heights caused a stir in society. This novel has received both criticism and acclaim since it was first published in 1847. "For the Victorians, Wuthering Heights was inarguably an immoral and uncivilized book". (York Notes, p106). Emily Bronte uses a variety of methods to engage the interests of the reader throughout her novel, Wuthering Heights. I will be discussing these as seen in the early chapters of the book. Bronte chose to open her novel with the use of a first person narration in the present tense. Lockwood, one of the main narrators in the book is used as a multi-faceted device introducing the reader to many aspects of the novel. Immediately the reader is made aware of the time period, with a diary entry, '1801' and the setting, 'a perfect misanthropist's heaven'. This narrator also introduces the main protagonist of the novel whom he describes as his 'solitary neighbour', 'a man who seemed more exaggeratedly reserved' than himself (Wuthering Heights, ch1, p1) ...read more.

Middle

This creates spontaneous thought processes within the reader, deciphering all the information given. The reader is lead to reach their own conclusions about the events that transpire; Bronte does not try to influence their decision. Bronte introduces a colourful array of characters in the early chapters that maintain the reader's attentions. Heathcliff, the main protagonist, is introduced almost immediately in chapter one. His dialogue with Lockwood serves to portray his manner and so enlightens the reader as to his personality traits. "I should not allow anyone to inconvenience me, if I could hinder it - walk in!" (Wuthering Heights, ch1, p1). The arrogance and control he exudes is clear, the reader is intrigued and maintained. Lockwood also introduces the reader to the minor characters Zillah and Joseph in chapter one, who work for Heathcliff. The latter, Lockwood describes as 'vinegar faced' (Wuthering Heights, ch2, p9) and the strong Yorkshire dialect this character is given adds interest and reminds the reader of the setting. Joseph's diction is difficult to understand this distances him from the reader, as he is not a main focal point for the novel. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reader becomes aware of the implications of the use of the words 'stormy weather' as the story unfolds. The reader is captivated with details of Heathcliff's home, enabling the reader to visualize the scene, further holding their interest. The descriptive words used to describe the 'battering' the abode must tolerate from the 'power of the north wind' (Wuthering Heights, ch1, p4) ironically reflects the endless 'battering' the 'hearts' of the residents of that adobe endure throughout the novel. The "range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun" (Wuthering Heights) symbolize the dangers of the characters within, and their yearning for some comfort that seems out of reach. Bronte's use of imagery is a very powerful one, yet the full extent of the imagery cannot be appreciated until deeper in the novel when an intimate understanding of the characters has been established. In the early chapters, barriers can be seen as indicators of a restrictive theme running through the novel, but again these barriers and boundaries cannot be fully understood until more knowledge is gained. The need for this knowledge urges the reader to continue reading, to bring about this level of understanding with great satisfaction. ...read more.

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