“We can’t trust those voices because they’re all characters with their own agenda,” Ms. Knight said. “With Dickens or Charlotte Brontë or other 19th-century writers, you’re with a safe driver and are told the truth. With Emily Brontë, you’re overhearing conversations and don’t know what to believe.”
This is one of the main points I try to convey when discussing the text with people: Nelly has a vested interest in manipulating the story. She is not a reliable narrator, and we’re listening to a convoluted and layered family epic years after its genesis from a woman we can’t trust. Part of the genius of the work is how complicated Emily made it.
You must understand the nature of oppression, the most subtle affect of oppression; is that what it does to your mind, what it does to the way you think about yourself. The whole cornerstone rests there.
— James Baldwin