Wuthering Heights and Adventures of the Dancing Men
The two novels, Wuthering Heights and the Adventures of the Dancing Men share something in common. The narrators in both of the instances have employed the use of silence and secrets to enhance the narrative. The essays will compare the use of silence and secrets in the two narratives as well as give insights on how literary features have been to delay or defer revelation. The use of secrets enhances the narrative by creating suspense and to giving the reader curiosity about the hidden facts.
Wuthering Heights presents scenarios where the narrator uses secrets and silence to enhance the narrative. We may focus on the role of Nelly Dean because she is the person responsible for controlling all the key information about the departure of Isabella and Catherine’s illness. The narrator uses secrets and silence to move forward the action. Nelly’s choice of keeping these secrets gives her great influence over events as illustrated by Brontë (20-23)
In the narrative, Nelly assumes that the illness of Catherine is inverted by herself to manipulate others. It supports the fact that women in the nineteenth century were able to use their frailty for strength. It turns out to be a scenario that Bronte shows having devastating consequences as brought in the analysis by Macovski.
The narrative also brings a scenario where Edgar is kept ignorant about the illness of Catherine. Catherine, on the other hand, is unaware that Edgar is green about the matter and cannot figure out his apparent cold-heartedness. She views it instead as a want of love. Both Edgar and Catherine are ignorant about the fact that Isabella eloped. They both view her absence as her lacking proper affection.
Catherine’s perception of lovelessness precedes instantly her fervent pulling and plucking out of feathers of her pillow. It shows a type of madness referred to by Nelly as Maniacs behavior as both as an effect of oppression and a symptom as expressed by Bronte (129).
One the other hand, The Adventures of the Dancing Men also employs the use of secrets and silence to enhance the narrative. The narration of Watson maintains the mystery that is unfolding. For example in the story, Holmes worked out the secret of the code of dancing men but keeps away the answer from Watson as well as the reader. The controversial message contained in a set hieroglyphics as well as Holmes having been in touch with the city of New York and knows the criminal known as Slaney is kept in the dark until Holmes is allowed to explain the case to Watson.
In the first paragraph of Adventures of the Dancing Men, the narrator brings out the aspect of silence. Holmes kept seated for hours in silence together with his long and thin chemical vessel that he was using to brew a certain malodorous product. The narrator says that He was in an agony of silence with his head sunk upon his breast and looked strange from the narrator’s point of view. At the beginning of the story, the narrator brings out the use of silence and secrets where Elsie asked her husband to promise never to ask her about her past. She instead wants her husband to be silent about her past to keep it secret.
In The Adventures of the Dancing Men, the narrator brings the story of Elsie Patrick, who was married to Mr. Cubit. The girl kept away many secrets about herself that the narrator was not aware of. After a marriage that lasted for a year, the narrator saw his wife reading a letter she received from America bearing American stamp. Elsie threw the letter into the fire after which there was always a sign of fear written on her face. She didn’t speak about it but she kept silent and kept the secret from the narrator according to Shaw et al. (4).
Also, a week after Elsie was asked about some absurd figures dancing and she denied, her husband later found a paper lying on the garden. When he showed her, she dropped down in a dead faint. The scenario is an indication that there were secrets that the wife was hiding from her husband and instead opted to be silent. He kept wondering whether there is danger threatening his little woman.
After receiving terrible news from the stationmaster that both Mr. Hilton and his wife were short, Holmes in silence hurried to a carriage. During the long drive of seven miles, he was in silence and never opened his mouth. Despite the silence that Elsie has maintained all these time after getting married to Holmes, she knew very well that it is her father who invented the dancing men as a way of communication. She kept the secret away from her husband, and this is only revealed by Mr. Abe Slaney after the incident of murder.
In The Adventures of the Dancing Men, the drawings of the dancing men were secretive. Mr. Abe Slaney used them to hide the truth from coming to light. The drawings, therefore, had different meanings and could only communicate to those who could recognize their meaning. It implies that Elsie was silent about the affair she initially had with Mr. Abe Slaney and kept the secret away from the Holmes. In the novel, we are told that there is nobody on earth and outside the joint who was cognizant about the secret of the dancing men as per the analysis of Donovan (14-16)
Mrs. Hilton had herself lain under the terrible suspicion of the killing of her husband. It is because she has kept a lot of controversial secrets away from her husband who apparently has contributed to the murder of her husband. The use of silence and secret arise when Mr. Abe Slaney revels that he was engaged to Elsie, who never spoke about it to her husband but instead kept the secret.
Later in the novel, we learn that Mr. Abe Slaney has been threatening Elsie through the writing of the dancing men. The secretive Elsie, on the other hand, opted to remain silent about this and only to start panicking. Mr. Abe Slaney was a former fiancé from Chicago that she never told anyone about him
The two narratives employ the use of literary features of characterization to delay revelation of the secrets. In the narrative of The Adventures of the Dancing Men, the narrator develops the plot using a different character such as Watson in the first paragraph and other including Elsie, Holmes, Hilton, inspector Martin and across the text to defer the relation of several secrets. Later the narrator uses Abe Slaney to reveal all the secrets that have been hidden.
Just like in the narrative of Wuthering Heights the narrator uses several character throughout the text to develop the plot and defer the revelation of the secrets. The characters used here to defer revelation of the secrets are Catherine, Nelly Dean, Isabella and Edgar among other characters.
Shaw, Murray et al. The Adventure Of The Dancing Men ; The Three Garridebs. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 1993. Print.
Shaw, Murray et al. Sherlock Holmes And The Adventure Of The Dancing Men. Minneapolis: Graphic Universe, 2011. Print.
Donovan, B. W. “Book Review: Gallagher, M. (2006). Action Figures: Men, Action Films, And Contemporary Adventure Narratives. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan”. Men and Masculinities 10.5 (2007): 638-640. Web.
Macovski, Michael S. “Wuthering Heights And The Rhetoric Of Interpretation”. ELH 54.2 (1987): 363. Web.
Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. Champaign, Ill.: Project Gutenberg. Print.
Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. New York: Modern Library, 1994. Print.