Reading Wuthering Heights

Reading Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte 1818-1848 Meet Emily Bronte Born in Haworth, a small isolated Yorkshire town in Northern England. Father was a pastor; her mother

died of cancer when Emily was three. Charlotte, Emily, Branwell, Anne, spent their lives by themselves, reading, writing and walking the moors. Emily displays her disinterest in society by dressing oddly and preferring to remain alone in her room. She knew almost no one outside the family except

one of her fathers employees. Last of Biography In 1845 the girls published a volume of poetry which sold only two volumes. They gave up poetry to concentrate on novels. Charlotte produced Jane Eyre (1847) and Emily published Wuthering

Heights (1848). Both girls published under male names: Currer and Ellis. Branwell dies in September 1848 of depression, drink, and drugs. His funeral was the last time Emily left her house; she caught cold in the rain at her brothers funeral, and died of virulent TB at age 30.

Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Bronte painted by their brother, Branwell. Branwells self-portriat The parsonage where the Brontes grew up; it is now

the Bronte Museum. Romanticism A time of reaction against the emphasis on the reason and logic of the eighteenth century. Romanticism stressed feeling instead of thinking. The Romantic movement also emphasized nature,

especially the darker aspects of human nature. The nineteenth century acknowledged that man could be vicious and perverse, and good might not always triumph over evil. The Gothic Novel

medieval or medieval-type setting gloomy and very strong architecture woman (or other culturally disempowered person) in distress needing to be rescued bad, nasty, evil, controlling, dominating, lustful villain (often the lust is perverse)

who has the power, as king, lord of the manor, father, or guardian, to demand that one or more of the female characters do something intolerable. The woman may be commanded to marry someone she does not love (it may even be the powerful male himself), or commit a crime apparently supernatural events that is not infrequently explained later by science omens, portents, visionsoften the story is based on a prophecy (and in more

modern versions often contains one concerning society beyond the story) evokes terror through the depiction of physical and, more often, psychological violence explores the nightmares under the surface of the civilized mind and/or aberrant psychological states The Moors of Wuthering Heights

Bronte sets her novel in her native Yorkshire. The moors are essentially a hostile environment where the mists end only when it rains or snows. The only vegetation is low growing heather, which is brown most of the year. In early spring, however, the heather blooms with purple flower.

I Never Saw a Moor I never saw a moor, I never saw the sea; Yet know I how the heather looks, And what a wave must be. I never spoke with God,

Nor visited in heaven; Yet certain am I of the spot As if the chart were given. Emily Dickinson The Setting The power of the natural setting and its effect

on the characters is reiterated throughout the novel. The moors take on an emotional force all their own There is no other setting; if a character leaves the moors, he/she simply vanishes from the novel.

Point of View Wuthering Heights is one of the first English novels to use different points of view. Mr. Lockwood opens and closes the novel Mrs. Dean also narrates as she tells Mr. Lockwood the details of the story.

Point of View Multiple points of view force readers to evaluate for themselves what they are told. A single point of view almost forces a balanced and detached presentation of the story.

Structure The novel focuses on dualities and falls into two parts: Catherine Earnshaw, Heathcliff, Edgar Linton The children The second half is an echo of the first

Dialect: A Special Literary Element Dialect is the language of a particular district, class, or group of people. Using dialect reinforces the authenticity of the setting. Brontes characterization of Joseph mimics

that of a Yorkshire farmer. Wuthering Heights A sixteenth century farmhouse, the grandest building in the neighborhood except for Thrushcross Grange. Thrushcross Grange

The most important building in the neighborhood. Subjects in the novel: Which is a more powerful emotion love or hate? Is revenge ever justified? Under what circumstances does the desire for revenge yield

to forgiveness? Are a persons conflicts during life continued or resolved after death? In a discordant world, what factors can restore harmony? How does the past influence the present?

Must a younger generation suffer for the sins of the parents? What happens when nurture (upbringing, environment) conflicts with a persons nature (heredity, personality)?

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