Possessing a reclusive nature, she had longings and desires for her home on the moors, which prompted her return home after a scant three months. Life and Background of the Author 3 In the following year, , she attempted to teach school. This endeavor lasted eight months, but she could not handle the stress and again returned home.
In she went with Charlotte to Brussels to study foreign languages and school management in order to open a school in Haworth. Living with her father at the par- sonage in Haworth, this became a period of creativity.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë Review
Although the earliest dated poem is from , the majority of her poetry that sur- vives was written during this time. During her life she had no close friends, was interested in mysticism, and enjoyed her solitude outdoors. All of these elements grace both her poems and Wuthering Heights. In Charlotte found some of the poetry that Emily had been writing and eventually persuaded her sister to attempt to publish her work. Charlotte and Emily, along with their sister Anne, eventually pub- lished a collection of poems under the male names of Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
The sisters paid to have the collection published, and even though it only sold two copies, they were undaunted and contin- ued to write. This time each sister wrote a novel. A year after that, in July of , Wuthering Heights was accepted for publication; however, it was not printed until December, following the success of Jane Eyre. She caught a severe cold that spread to her lungs, and she died of tuberculosis on December 19, Wuthering Heights was reissued with poems and a biog- raphical notice by Charlotte.
By this time, both Emily and Anne had died, and Charlotte succinctly stated how and why she and her sisters assumed the name of Bell.
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Long after its initial publication and subsequent death of its author, Wuthering Heights has become one of the classics of English literature. Read the Introduction and A Brief Synopsis to enhance your understanding of the novel and to prepare yourself for the critical thinking that should take place whenever you read any work of fiction or nonfiction.
Victorian society would not accept the violent characters and harsh realities of Wuthering Heights, but subsequent audiences are both more under- standing and accepting of the use of unsavory aspects of human life in literature. Yet Charlotte herself was not entirely convinced of all its merits. After its initial publication, both critical and popular audiences ended up embracing Wuthering Heights, and it remains one of the classic works still read and studied.
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Wuthering Heights is an important contemporary novel for two reasons: Its honest and accurate portrayal of life during an early era pro- vides a glimpse of history, and the literary merit it possesses in and of itself enables the text to rise above entertainment and rank as quality literature. But even though society is different today than it was two centuries ago, people remain the same, and contemporary readers can still relate to the feelings and emotions of the central characters—Heathcliff and Catherine—as well as those of the supporting characters.
It is a presentation of life, an essay on love, and a glimpse at relationships. Introduction to the Novel 7 This lyrical prose has a distinct structure and style. Significantly, Wuthering Heights is about ordered pairs: two households, two genera- tions, and two pairs of children. Some critics dismiss the plot of the second-generation characters as being a simple retelling of the first story; however, in doing so, they are dismissing the entire second half of the book. Each of the two main story lines of the two generations com- prises 17 chapters.
Clearly, in order to appreciate fully Wuthering Heights, attention must be paid to the second half, particularly noting that the second half is not just a retelling but rather a revising—a form of renewal and rebirth.
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These ordered pairs more often than not, are pairs of contrast. The most noticeable pair is that of the two houses: Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. Wuthering Heights has the wild, windy moors and its inhabitants possess the same characteristics. Opposite this are the calm, orderly parks of Thrushcross Grange and its inhabitants. Each household has a male and female with a counterpart at the other. Readers gain insight into these characters not only by observing what they think, say, and do but also by comparing them to their counter- parts, noticing how they do not think, speak, and act.
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Much is learned by recognizing what one is not. Structurally, the narrative is also primarily told from a paired point of view. Lockwood frames the initial story, telling the beginning and ending chapters with minor comments within. In essence, readers are eavesdropping rather than experi- encing the action.
The role of the outsider should not be overlooked because the set- ting of Wuthering Heights is one of complete isolation; therefore, only those with first- or second-hand experiences are able to relate them to others. The moors connecting Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange serve a dual purpose—linking the two households while simul- taneously separating them from the village and all others. These themes are not independent of each other; rather, they mix, mingle, and intertwine as the story unfolds.
Wuthering Heights is also a social novel about class structure in society as well as a treatise on the role of women. For Catherine, representing a lower class, social class plays a major role when deciding to get married. That is why she cannot marry Heathcliff and agrees, instead, to marry Edgar. For Isabella, however, just the opposite is true. She is drawn to the wild, mysterious man, regardless of the fact that he is beneath her social standing. Because of her infatuation, she loses everything that is dear to her. Readers must therefore look not only to social class when judging and analyzing characters; they must deter- mine what decisions are made by members of a certain class and why these characters made the decisions they did.
On the surface, Wuthering Heights is a love story. Delving deeper, readers find both a symbolic and psychological novel. Contemporary audiences, for example, easily relate to issues of child abuse and alcoholism. The novel told from multiple points of view is easily read and interpreted from multiple perspectives, also.
Back at Thrushcross Grange and recuper- ating from his illness, Lockwood begs Nelly Dean, a servant who grew up in Wuthering Heights and now cares for Thrushcross Grange, to tell him of the history of Heathcliff. Nelly narrates the main plot line of Wuthering Heights.
Themes of Love and Obsession in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights
Introduction to the Novel 9 Mr. The boy is named Heathcliff and is raised with the Earnshaw children, Hindley and Catherine. After Mr. The Lintons welcome Catherine into their home but shun Heathcliff.
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Treated as an outsider once again, Heathcliff begins to think about revenge. Catherine, at first, splits her time between Heathcliff and Edgar, but soon she spends more time with Edgar, which makes Heathcliff jealous. When Heathcliff over- hears Catherine tell Nelly that she can never marry him Heathcliff , he leaves Wuthering Heights and is gone for three years. While he is gone, Catherine continues to court and ends up mar- rying Edgar. Their happiness is short-lived because they are from two different worlds, and their relationship is strained further when Heathcliff returns.
Heathcliff vows revenge and does not care who he hurts while executing it. He desires to gain control of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange and to destroy everything Edgar Linton holds dear. In order to exact his revenge, Heathcliff must wait 17 years. Finally, he forces Cathy to marry his son, Linton.
Through all of this, though, the ghost of Catherine haunts Heathcliff.
What he truly desires more than anything else is to be reunited with his soul mate. At the end of the novel, Heathcliff and Catherine are united in death, and Hareton and Cathy are going to be united in marriage. Orphaned as a child, he is constantly on the outside, constantly losing people. Although he and Catherine Earnshaw profess that they complete each other, her decision to marry Edgar Linton almost destroys their relationship.