A Gothic Romance, Dark Passion, Classic Tale: Wuthering Heights

Title: Wuthering Heights

Author: Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights is a gothic romantic tale. The existence of Heathcliff and Catherine is grounded upon their impulse to love and be loved. The association of love with physical things in nature is quite prominent here. Catherine’s thoughts of Heathcliff are intermingled with fancies concerning their free childhood in the moors. Their love began in a state of nature, they grew up together rude as savages, and when Catherine leaves Heathcliff lightning splits a tree. Heathcliff is compared to wild animals and is often associated with darkness and the supernatural. But their emotional relationship is what occupies the centre of attention moving from its origin to a crisis where Catherine marries Edgar, then to a climax at Catherine’s death and then after a long interval to a second climax at Heathcliff’s death.

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

Emotion in the most excessive form remains at the forefront throughout the novel. Emily Bronte completely rejects the relevance of reason in this gothic romance. She goes to the things that are most fundamental and emphasises them shamelessly, saying that social and moral laws are beside the point, and have nothing to do with the forces that really control us.  Emotional considerations receive strong and steady emphasis by a series of violent scenes. Whether or not her point is valid is for each reader to decide for themselves. This book has been called brilliant and perfect by some and has also been rejected as repulsive and ridiculous by others. 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. JT Twissel says:

    I’ve attended many lectures on this book and despite some wild theories, I prefer to think of it as a gothic love story, the way I believe it was intended.

    Like

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