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AS and A Level: Emily Bronte

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'Wuthering Heights'

  1. 1 A central theme of the novel is love, notably that of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, however Brontë also considers other types of love in the novel. It is in the younger generation – Catherine Linton and Hareton Earnshaw – that a more recognisable (and realistic) love is able to develop.
  2. 2 Brontë’s consideration of love raises social concerns, linked to status and gender relations. Social criticism is apparent throughout the novel. Brontë lived at a time of social upheaval caused by industrialisation.
  3. 3 Setting is important in this novel. The Wuthering Heights location is often viewed as more human than Thrushcross Grange, for many of the passionate and violent events occur there.
  4. 4 Brontë uses a varied and interesting narrative. The novel starts and finishes with a framed narrative and Brontë provides other narrative viewpoints by having characters confide in Nelly. Edgar Linton remains the most distanced from the reader.
  5. 5 The novel is often described as Gothic because of its remote setting; the blurring of boundaries between life and death; the presentation of Heathcliff with his mysterious origins, his unexplained acquisition of wealth and his often evil ways.

Structuring your 'Wuthering Heights' essay

  1. 1 Think in terms of four or five main ideas with one point per paragraph. Remember to include possible alternative readings.
  2. 2 For each point, write a topic sentence that states the subject (topic) of the paragraph and which relates back to the title to ensure relevance.
  3. 3 What textual evidence (quotations and references) can you use to prove your point? How does your evidence prove your point? (Analysing the quotes using literary terminology)
  4. 4 Include any relevant contextual detail.
  5. 5 Having argued the case, it is usually possible to include a more personal response in the conclusion.

How to use the essay title to guide your essay writing

  1. 1 Find the key words in the essay title and define them so that you see all of the possible arguments for the essay.
  2. 2 What is the focus of the essay? Is it character, setting, theme(s) or a combination?
  3. 3 These two areas can be used to write the introduction to the essay.

  • Marked by Teachers essays 2
  • Peer Reviewed essays 1
  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critics suggest that Wuthering Heights is a novel concerned with boundaries. Explore the effect of these boundaries in relation to the relationship of Catherine and Heathcliff.

    3 star(s)

    This conclusion was clearly a statement of intent from Emily Bront� which suggested the oppressive boundaries of the 19th Century patriarchal society would ultimately be eradicated by a new generation of Britons- a view which was vindicated after Bront�'s tragic death, as the Suffragettes earned women the right to vote and various liberal reforms improved life for people of lower social standing. A Marxist interpretation of Wuthering Heights is that Heathcliff is representative of the proletariat class, and his ascension through the barriers imposed on him is symbolic of rebellion against the tyranny of the bourgeois class.

    • Word count: 1075
  2. Marked by a teacher

    The Gothic Elements of Wuthering Heights

    3 star(s)

    This relationship with the past, which is juxtaposed with the 'new' world of Victorian decadence, is an important element of the Gothic which is brought to life by Bronte's description of these different abodes and their occupants. The novels narrators too, it could be argued, add credibility to the Gothic elements of horror and in particular the uncanny. As a modern, civilised narrator the character of Lockwood appears genuinely affected by his experiences in the heights. The first three chapters, in which he relies on his own observation, are a catalogue of mistakes, and we watch him move from a confident detachment to the bewilderment of a Gothic victim.

    • Word count: 1178
  3. Peer reviewed

    Wuthering Heights. The narrative tale tells the story of the all-encompassing and passionate, yet thwarted, love between Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and how this unresolved passion eventually destroys them and many around them.

    3 star(s)

    It was fate that Mr Earnshaw randomly found Heathcliff and brought him home. The first separation between Catherine and Heathcliff was when they were children. They were inseparable and enjoyed spending time together running wild on the moors all the time, as a punishment Heathcliff and Cathy would be sent into separate rooms for a whole day, something they couldn't bare. This was the biggest punishment they could ever get as Nell Dean had said 'the greatest punishment we could invent for her was to keep her separate from him'.

    • Word count: 1967
  4. Wuthering Heights. Catherine and Hindleys mistreatment of Heathcliff during their childhood leading him to revenge in the future demonstrates character development. Heathcliffs desire to fulfill his wicked needs of revenge due to unfortuna

    'Begone you vagabond! What, you are attempting the coxcomb, are you? Wait till I get a hold of those elegant locks - see if I won't pull them a bit longer!'" (Bronte 66). Hindley, Heathcliff's foster brother, constantly has the presence of jealousy in him towards Heathcliff, especially as a child. Their father, Mr. Earnshaw, seems to favour Heathcliff over his real son. For this reason, Hindley would constantly pick on Heathcliff and goes as far as moving him in with the servants following the death of his father. This wickedness of his, of course, drastically enforces negative affects on Heathcliff.

    • Word count: 1382
  5. While Heathcliff and Edgar act as foils for one another, it is more useful to consider their function in the novel as individuals. Discuss

    Bronte has set up a possible juxtaposition between Heathcliff and Edgar as it allows the reader to gage the extremities of the two men who are, in many respects polar opposites. This is evident in the most immediate of ways: physical appearance. There is an instant difference in the "long light hair" of Edgar whose figure is "almost too graceful" to the face of Heathcliff that is "half covered with black whiskers" with eyes "deep set and singular". Further and possibly more useful comparisons include the gulfs in class and wealth of the two men.

    • Word count: 698
  6. In the light of events within the novel, do you think that Heathcliff is a fiend from hell or a victim of social prejudice?

    'We crowded round, and, over Miss Cathy's head, I had a peep at a dirty, ragged, black-haired child.' Such language explores that he is no ordinary child. The other children then Hindley and Cathy couldn't believe what their father had brought home. 'Mrs Earnshaw was ready to fling it out of doors...asking how he could fashion to bring that gipsy brat into the house'. Such a phrase would imply that if they were seen with the 'gipsy' they would have been looked down on. They don't understand Mr Earnshaw's reason to bring it home. Cathy and Hindley rejected Heathcliff 'they entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room...I put it on the

    • Word count: 1283
  7. Love is the Root of all suffering in Wuthering Heights In what ways do you agree?

    Her love for Heathcliff made her ignore these warnings. Further into the marriage, Heathcliff acts violently towards her and deliberately mistreats her - 'I would turn her blue eyes black'. Eventually Isabella has to leave despite the fact she was married with a child to escape her suffering. She was brought up in an upper class family but ignored the social expectations of women because her suffering was so great. However, it can be argued that Isabella never really loved Heathcliff and it was just an infatuation commonly associated with Byronic heroes.

    • Word count: 642
  8. Wuthering Heights - is Heathcliffe a fiend from hell or a victim of social predjudice

    Found "as good as dumb in the streets of Liverpool" Heathcliff experiences neglect from an early age. Not even after being found by Mr Earnshaw who "took to Heathcliff strangely ... petting him up far above Cathy" does Heathcliff ever experience belonging. Through his childhood at Wuthering Heights Heathcliff has to stand Hindley's abuse and be forced to live like a servant after Mr Earnshaw's death. This treatment he receives as a child reflects on the way he treats the other characters in the novel, in particular Hareton, who is Heathcliff's opportunity for revenge on Hindley. Hareton is treated by Heathcliff in much the same way as Heathcliff was treated by Hindley after Earnshaw's death.

    • Word count: 1029
  9. Wuthering heights

    Nelly reveals to the reader in chapter 4 that she had noticed Mr Earnshaw becoming increasingly fond of Heathcliff, disregarding the feelings of his own son Hindley. This resulted in a separation between Hindley and his father. The destructive relationship between them presents themes such as isolation and depression, typical of a gothic novel. "..and at Mr Earnshaw's death, which happened less than two years after, the young master had learnt to regard his father as an oppressor rather than a friend...".

    • Word count: 699
  10. Assess the ways in which Bronte establishes the mood of the novel and the essential contrast between Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange in the first 6 chapters.

    Wuthering Heights on the other hand, is inhospitable according to Lockwood; "I could ill endure after this inhospitable treatment." Therefore Bronte is able to establish a fearful mood to begin the novel. Wuthering Heights is a symbol of the repression of freedom whereas Thrushcross Grange is the house of safety and security. This is the essential contrast between the two houses. Lockwood explains that "'Wuthering' [is] a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather." It is evident that Bronte has chosen the name Wuthering Heights to add to the atmosphere of the novel.

    • Word count: 1285
  11. The position of the female in 19th Century English society was of key import to Bront in Wuthering Heights, explore the validity of this statement.

    conventional marriage with the upper class Edgar Linton, Bront� skilfully uses metaphor and incorporates themes of nature from the romantic period to convey the contrasting love Cathy feels for the two men with the analogy that "[Her] love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods; time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. [Her] love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath--a source of little visible delight, but necessary." Throughout the novel both Heathcliff and Cathy echo these sentiments and it is made clear that Heathcliff and Cathy share passionate true love; whereas Cathy's

    • Word count: 1016
  12. Explore the presentation of Heathcliffs journey in Wuthering Heights, in the light of the Marxist Perspective.

    Miles notes how 'rather than a dual function there is an oscillation resulting in the name never satisfactorily serving him either way', when he enters his name 'serves' him as both his 'Christian name and surname' immediately setting him as an outsider and determining his role because he does not embody conventions of society. Victorian Society was organised such that the base of the society determines its superstructure, everything associated with culture: education, law, religion and the arts but because Heathcliff is not an Earnshaw his status means he cannot access this cultural economy and he is ultimately rejected.

    • Word count: 1746
  13. Wuthering Heights - How does Bront present Catherine

    She is reduced to talking to herself, as she can't share her inner thoughts and feelings with Edgar because inside Cathy knows it is Heathcliff she should be with. Furthermore, the fact that Cathy is drawn to superstition is also reflected in the line "Ah, they put pigeon feathers in the pillows - no wonder I couldn't die!" this is because Victorians believed that the soul cannot free itself if a dying person was laid on a bed containing pigeon feathers.

    • Word count: 1379
  14. Discuss the nature of love between Heathcliff and Catherine

    Heathcliff repeatedly calls Catherine his soul, and when Catherine was explaining her choice of marrying Edgar to Nelly Dean she says that "I am Heathcliff!" show emphasizes how much their souls are bonded together. This is further proven when Catherine dies, and Heathcliff tells Nelly, "I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" referring to the dead Catherine. This is then fulfilled later beyond the grave when they are reunited in death, and some inhabitants of the village claim that they saw the ghosts of Heathcliff and Catherine together.

    • Word count: 709
  15. Theme of outsiders in both "The Color Purple" and "Wuthering Heights"

    The residents launched a bull dog at the pair which is the ultimate sign of unwelcomeness and inhospitability. Heathcliff was accused of being a theif almost instantaneously for the way he looks, which was an "out-and-outer". The role of the outsider should not be overlooked because the setting of Wuthering Heights is one of complete isolation. The moors connecting Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange serve a double purpose - linking the two households while still separating them from the village and all others.

    • Word count: 1261
  16. Compare and contrast the ways women are presented in both 'Wuthering Heights' and 'A Streetcar Named Desire'

    The same is also true in Wuthering Heights where the reader is first introduced to Catherine as a 'little', 'feeble' and 'melancholy' child helplessly trapped outside the refuge of Wuthering Heights. Like Blanche she is in a position of extreme vulnerability at this point, not only through her weak appearance and the vulnerable innocence of her youth, but through her lack of protection from a safe environment. She is trapped outside in formidable weather with 'gusty wind and the driving of the snow' which is emphatic of the potential danger she is in and a reflection of her inner turmoil.

    • Word count: 3929
  17. Commentary on "I am the only being whose doom" by Emily Bronte

    The repetition of the word "secret", furthermore, places emphasis on her desolation. Then, she mentions "This changeful life has slipped away." A sense of poignancy infuses this line when we learn that her life is almost over. She seems to feel that life is not worth it. She remains "friendless" and "lonely", having spent her eighteen-year-old lifetime being isolated from the world. The doomed youth, marked out from birth for sorrow and tragedy, provides pathos for the poem. The third stanza follows, drawing the reader's attention into her past.

    • Word count: 1200
  18. Explain and discuss in detail the importance of relationships or conflicts in each of your studied texts? - "Moving Pictures', by Ro Cambridge, and 'my father running with a dead boy', by Carl Nixon

    This was the mother I yearned for.' Although she loves her mother, she is disappointed by her appearance, and more importantly, afraid that she will grow to resemble her. The comment 'she died as this as I could have wished for' is an important, sad admission of her preoccupation with what really was of little importance, yet what was a barrier in her relationship with her mother. The narrator's mother dies and she is devastated, not that she realises it herself at the time.

    • Word count: 1066
  19. Wuthering Heights accurately reflects the sharp class divisions of nineteenth century England. Discuss

    Earnshaw brought him home to raise as a son amongst his two legitimate children. As an abandoned orphan, Heathcliff belonged to the lowest station in society. During this time, it was unheard of for a middle class family to raise someone of lower statute in their home therefore; it is the reaction of Mr. Earnshaw?s family on the arrival of Heathcliff upon his arrival into the home that accurately reflects the sharp class divisions and expectations of this time as, ?Mrs.

    • Word count: 897
  20. Edgar Linton has more right than Heathcliff to be called the hero in "Wuthering Heights". Discuss.

    Earnshaw saw, ?it starving, and houseless, and as good as dumb in the streets of Liverpool.? Another characteristic of a Classic Hero is that they perform extraordinary feats. Throughout the novel Edgar Linton displays no obvious signs of having done anything extraordinary; he is a calm, weak natured individual who avoids conflict and allows himself to be easily overpowered both by Heathcliff and his wife allowing the latter to mock him, ?I wish Heathcliff may flog you sick, for daring to think an evil thought of me!? In contrast to this, Heathcliff performs many extraordinary deeds however, few of which

    • Word count: 847
  21. Is Catherine Earnshaw a Typical Victorian Woman or a Modern Woman?

    If Edgar Linton believed that Catherine was not chaste, it is likely he would not have married her in conformation with the Victorian society?s norms. Ultimately, it is Catherine?s intense love for Heathcliff that sets her apart from a typical Victorian woman; their love defies the status quo and is a faux- pas in the elitist attitude of the Victorian mind. This is because Heathcliff is not from wealth, in fact, he is the opposite; he was a poor beggar who was lifted from the streets and is now a servant.

    • Word count: 1099
  22. Is Catherine Earnshaw a Nineteenth Century Heroine?

    The first time we are introduced to Catherine is through Lockwood who observes that, ?The ledge? was covered in writing, scratched on the paint?. It is obvious that Cathy was the one to deface the window ledge as it is her name that is etched across it, ?in all kinds of characters, large and small- Catherine Earnshaw, here and there varied to Catherine Heathcliff, and then again to Catherine Linton.? It is not only her defacing of property that allows us to assume that she is of a rebellious nature, but also that she is a wildly mysterious character who

    • Word count: 850
  23. Comment on the way a sense of place is created in the first chapter of "Wuthering Heights"

    During the first chapter, a reader discusses the question of his social position?is he a gentleman or a gypsy? This causes particular confusion. Further on the passage, it says Mr Heathcliff ?love and hate equally? implying that he treats everyone equally even though he has a higher status. The use of the metaphor and personification: ?one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house, and a

    • Word count: 549
  24. How is dialogue represented in "Wuthering heights"?

    As Lockwood expresses his general distress on not being able to find his way home, the vulgarity and ignorant conducts of Heathcliff?s response illustrates his true impertinent attitude towards his guest as he diverts the subject to a whole different matter that is not near as important as the one at hand. Heathcliff?s commands for Hareton to bring in the sheep, entirely ignoring his guest demonstrates that his animals? welfare potentially mean more than his new tenant. This is not usually the correct way to behave towards a tenant that is about to rent your property but Heathcliff does not seem to care.

    • Word count: 1175
  25. Madness in "Wuthering Heights".

    When Mr. Earnshaw founb Heathcliff in the streets and took him in (page 36), he treated him like his son, sometimes even better than his own children. This created Hindley?s resentment for Heathcliff. Hindley did not like the attention Heathcliff recived from his father, therefore wanted to make Heathcliff as miserable as possible. When Hindley makes him a servant of the family, after Mr. Earnshaw?s death (page 43), he makes his distain know, with constasnt abuse and ill-treatment. It would give reason to Heathcliff?s loathing of Hindley.

    • Word count: 716

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?

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