Wuthering Heights and Madame Bovary both employ complex forms of narration to tell the stories of the novels. Compare the narrative techniques used by Bronte and Flaubert, explaining and exemplifying their effects, and relating these effects to the larger purposes of the two novels.
Word Count: 1200
The narrative techniques in Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary have been a central discussion point for literary critics for hundreds of years. The following essay offers explanation and interpretation into the ways readers are entitled to their own opinions and views through the use of two different narrative techniques. Lockwood and Nelly Dean’s non-authoritative duel narration in Wuthering Heights invites readers to think and draw their own conclusions as neither narrator can be relied upon as being honest. Madame Bovary’s omniscient and subjective third-person perspective uses free indirect discourse to create redefinitions of the reader’s impression of the characters. These two different narrative techniques are vital to each novel as they involve readers inside the story and enhance the believability of the stories.
Bronte’s Wuthering Heights uses a technique of non-authoritative narration, leaving the readers space to think for themselves about the misdirection of the narrator’s judgments; a method that adds to the novel’s creative richness and modern uniqueness considering it’s early composition. Because the two narrators, Lockwood and Nelly Dean, become personally involved in the events of the story, neither can be replied upon as honest narrators. The two ‘agents’ report the action within the novel in different ways according to their interests in the way the story terminates, therefore abandoning their point of view as a ‘bystander’. Bronte uses Lockwood in the opening and closing of the novel to represent the outer frame of the story; he is an ignorant outsider who is nosy but un-perceptive, consequently creating a window for...