How is dialogue represented in Wuthering heights? - Sample Essay
Reading the extract from the question we receive, we get a different perception from when we read it in the novel. Lockwood is an outsider, coming into a world in which he finds bewildering and hostile, he’s a city gentleman who has stumbled on a primitive uncivilised world which he doesn’t understand, but which fascinates him. Lockwood expresses his worry about not being able to ‘get home without a guide’ as the weather is terrible and it is dark.
From Heathcliff’s reply of ‘No, no a stranger is a stranger, be he rich of poor- it will not suit me to permit any one the range of the place while I am off guard, we believe that perhaps he is worried for the safety of Lockwood.
That is however not the case. Reading the small extract were are clearly able to observe that Lockwood is in no way welcome as none of the characters want to converse, or show any slight hospitality towards him, which indeed surprises Lockwood by the abruptness of his hosts. As Lockwood expresses his general distress on not being able to find his way home, the vulgarity and ignorant conducts of Heathcliff’s response illustrates his true impertinent attitude towards his guest as he diverts the subject to a whole different matter that is not near as important as the one at hand.
Heathcliff’s commands for Hareton to bring in the sheep, entirely ignoring his guest demonstrates that his animals’ welfare potentially mean more than his new tenant. This is not usually the correct way to behave towards a tenant that is about to rent your property but Heathcliff does not seem to care. Furthermore to add to this, as Lockwood looks around even joseph is busy feeding the dogs while he stands in this eerie house feeling unwelcomed and inferior to the animals.
These extracts are from the beginning of chapter one, so therefore we are still being introduced to the characters of the book. Bronte makes a significantly clear point to familiarise and introduce Heathcliff as discourteous from the very start of the novel. His behaviour towards not only Lockwood but Hareton indicates that he is in charge and in control of everything as he is superior to the other members of the house.
Dialogue and physical action work out each characters motivation as they try to get what they want. An example of this would be how Lockwood behaves on first being encountered with Catherine. After numerously being ignored, he attempts to provoke Cathy by charming her and commenting ‘[…] because with that face, I’m sure you cannot help being goodhearted’. He tries to somewhat flatter her into helping him find directions.
The way dialogue is presented reflects on the mood of the character speaking. For instance when Lockwood says ‘you! I should be sorry to ask you to cross the threshold, for my convenience on such a night’, I cried. Moreover in his next sentences he also stresses the words ‘tell me my way, not to show me’. The use of italics could show that Lockwood is perhaps frustrated that Cathy does not understand what he wants so he uses extra emphasise, this could be by changing the way in which he says the words
Dialogue is not only used to provoke reactions and responses from other characters but there are also other important aspects such as the simple fact that readers like to listen in on conversations not only to understand the narrative but also to see the reactions of the characters to particular pieces of dialogue said.
The fact that Lockwood’s presence in the house is very awkward adds to the anticipation of what Heathcliff’s next action will be and how he is going to deal with the situation. When Heathcliff expresses his annoyance by crying ‘I hope it will be a lesson to you, to make no rash journeys on this hill’, the audience immediately want to know how Lockwood will take this in.
The comment comes across as very patronising and offending but we as the readers know that Lockwood cannot complain in his situation as he has nowhere else to go. This leads to the other purpose of dialogue, we feel certain ways towards characters depending on what they say. An example of this would be when Cathy calls Joseph a ‘Scandalous old hypocrite!.
As this is the first chapter we do not yet know the real nature of any of the characters but we judge upon the things they say. Calling someone that is older than you a ‘scandalous hypocrite’ is seen as rude and disrespectful. That is the first impression we receive of Cathy.
Even within the dialogue there are parts where Religion comes across as being very oppressive. Joseph is a bitter old man from Yorkshire that is very religious. We are first introduced to the religion theme via him scolding Cathy saying ‘yah’ll niver mend uh yer ill ways; bud goa raight tuh t’ divil, like yer mother afore ye! In that quote we are not only able to view religion being used as a tool of oppression and a threat but we are also able to uncover some parts of what might happen later on in the novel. Through the dialect of joseph Bronte provides a remarkably accurate rendition of Yorkshire dialect
Another important quote that is said by Cathy is ‘I’ll have you modelled in wax and clay’ Catherine is proposing to make an effigy of Joseph for the purpose of punishing him through witchcraft. By saying that is provokes a reaction from joseph as he exist the room in ‘horror’.
Bronte describes Cathy as being a witch with beautiful eyes, somewhat enchanting and bewitching furthermore this emphasises the ‘spell’ she recites –‘I’ll not say what he shall be done to- but, you’ll see! Go, I’m looking at you! Bronte’s play on words uses Cathy’s eyes to express that she does not particularly use witchcraft to manipulate people, but only her beauty and charisma to enrapture them.
In conclusion Dialogue is a very important and essential aspect of all literature. If Dialogue was not present in literature then stories and novels will be uninteresting as there is no true insight in the characters thoughts. Dialogue is a vital element to give the reader needed information about the plot and characters.