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The Story of Wuthering Heights

4 Pages 940 Words July 2018

The story of Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Brontë, is a tale of two wealthy families living in the moors of northern England in the late 18th century. The families are cut off from the rest of the world and interact nearly exclusively with one another; their story is filled with love, tragedy, revenge, and death. The story is narrated by Nelly Dean, a servant who lived among the two families and witnessed the goings-on at both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, the neighboring estates at the moors. Her tale is recollected by Mr. Lockwood, the new tenant at Thrushcross Grange. Mr. Lockwood asks Nelly about his strange landlord, Heathcliff, while he is staying at Thrushcross Grange. Nelly then launches into a long tale of everything that she witnessed while working for the Earnshaws, the original occupants of Wuthering Heights; the Lintons, who resided at Thrushcross Grange; and Heathcliff, an orphan who was adopted by Mr. Earnshaw. The question at hand is whether Nelly Dean was a reliable narrator of the events of Wuthering Heights; based on her connections to the families, her biases towards the characters, and her involvement in the storyline, it is easy to assume that she is overall unreliable.
A large factor as to why Nelly is unreliable is her relation and connection to the family. She wasn’t regarded as nor felt like a regular servant; she grew up with the Earnshaw children and felt almost like a part of the family. She begins her story with the lines “I was almost always at Wuthering Heights and I got used to playing with the children” (24). Before Mr. Earnshaw leaves for a long trip and is asking his children what they want to be brought back, he also asks Nelly if she wants anything. “He did not forget me; for he had a kind heart, though he was rather severe sometimes. He promised to bring me a pocketful of apples and pears” (25). Based on this, it’s clear that Nelly was close to the family; Nelly eve...

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