• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Gothic Elements of Wuthering Heights

Extracts from this document...


'The Gothic elements of Wuthering Heights are made credible by the novel's setting and narrators.' How far would you agree with this view? Some would argue that the novel's setting is particularly important in establishing the novels Gothic elements, in particular relations between past and present, the medieval and modernity. The contrast between the two houses, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, for instance, which has been seen as carrying such metaphysical significance, is not left a generalised level, but is grounded in specific details which reveal the time, place, and class of their opponents. The house at Wuthering Heights is a functional place, marked by dogs, guns and oatcakes which are part of a feudal agricultural economy, while Thrushcross Grange is a place of leisure, distinctly Victorian aristocratic, characterised by products of other people's labour - carpets, chandeliers, sweet cakes, and lap dogs. It is therefore possible to extract historical opposition between these two settings, with the Earnshaws, the yeomen farmers who work of the land, being replaced by the genteel way of the Lintons who live of their rents. ...read more.


This is not behaviour we would associate with the civilised man and so this adds credibility to Lockwood's experiences. Although Nelly is better informed her narrative does not dispel the uncanny instability of Lockwood's initial experiences. The geographical fixity of the novel, combined with its flash-back time structure, means that the past scenes which Nelly describes are superimposed on the scenes which we have already witnessed, in the very rooms which Lockwood had already described or where they now sit together. This doubleness is compounded by the fact that not only places, but names, survive the passing of generations, to be inhabited by later occupants. The name Hareton Earnshaw' in the inscription is now 'occupied' by another Hareton Earnshaw, just as Catherine leaves her name to be occupied by her daughter. The result of this duplication inherent in Nelly's narrative is also uncanny, since we expect people to have single identities which persist through time. The key Gothic themes of violence and revenge are for some critics made more implicit than explicit by the novels narrative structure. ...read more.


Consider again Faustus' quest for supernatural power and Frankenstein's quest for the secret of life. In this view, some critics have sought to make a comparison between this doomed quest and Cathy's idealised view of 'free love' in the novel. Her belief in her 'oneness' with Heathcliff makes her confident that he will not just understand her relationship with Edgar but 'comprehend (it) in his person - that is, incorporate it into himself. This dream cannot be realised however because her menfolk persist in what Carol Gilligan calls the masculine 'ethic of justice'. Edgar maintains the language of 'propriety' (i.e. ownership) and Heathcliff the language of revenge (i.e. expropriation) and ultimately Cathy's quest for mutual understanding ends in violence and death. While the setting, narration and narrative structure does indeed credibility to the Gothic elements; namely a sense of the uncanny horror and the an innate fascination with the past, these are not the only factors in the vivid sense of the Gothic in Wuthering Heights. In particular the novels characterisation is important for setting up the themes of taboo and sexual demarcation as well as setting up the novels dismal destination. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Emily Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Parts of this essay read well and show textual knowledge. There is a clear structure. However, there are not enough specific references to the text to back ideas, nor does the essay start with a clear definition of terms. Knowledge is implied rather than stated.

Marked by teacher Roz Shipway 30/11/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Emily Bronte essays

  1. Commentary on "I am the only being whose doom" by Emily Bronte

    "There have been times I cannot hide, / There have been times when this was drear." The word "hide" should mean her living in "secret pleasure, secret tears". The repetition of "There have been times" emphasizes that she has failed many times to be independent.

  2. Explain and discuss in detail the importance of relationships or conflicts in each of ...

    From feeling no emotional impact whatsoever, she then becomes fearful of life and overeats to protect herself. She becomes reclusive. She leaves for Greece, the second important geographical setting, and although acknowledging her desire to be comforted, she indulges in rich Greek food instead as her solace, to point where

  1. The position of the female in 19th Century English society was of key import ...

    It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now", here Bront´┐Ż is challenging the role of women in society by suggesting that the social conventions of the time forced Cathy into the decision which ultimately shapes the rest of the novel.

  2. Is Catherine Earnshaw a Typical Victorian Woman or a Modern Woman?

    for Linton will change and compares not to her love for Heathcliff, she marries him anyway for his money and for her inevitable heightened social class, ?I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighbourhood?. Victorian women were to be weaker than their husbands physically, but morally, they were expected to excel, surpassing the morality of their counter-parts.

  1. Madness in "Wuthering Heights".

    Another probable cause of Heathcliff?s madness is his love and obsession with Catherine. Heathcliff is treated terribly by all but Catherine, and she becomes his solace; his only friend. Her companionship is likely what kept him sane for longer. When she distanced herself, growing closer to the Lintons after staying there for several weeks (page 52), his attitude changed.

  2. Is Catherine Earnshaw a Nineteenth Century Heroine?

    It is highly evident within the text that Cathy was not the obliging and caring daughter that was expected of her as Nelly Dean recounts that, ?she put all of us past our patience fifty times and oftener in a day? and in attempt to hurt him, accuses her father of not always being, ?a good man?.

  1. Wuthering Heights accurately reflects the sharp class divisions of nineteenth century England. Discuss

    by the Lintons), they still upheld these societal norms as they were not members of the working class as they possessed numerous servants; thus, their station in society was below the Lintons but not significantly below.

  2. What methods does Bronte use in chapter 15 & 16 to reveal the anguish ...

    Catherine speaks eagerly of leaving her current life, and Heathcliff finally comes to her with a 'strong embrace', so strong it is almost vicious. His anguish is expressed in a violent way; the way he 'locked' her in his arms and Nelly thought she wouldn't be 'released alive' shows his

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work