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

To what extent is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall fundamentally concerned with exploring the possibility of salvation?

Extracts from this document...


Critical Essay on the Novel To what extent is The Tenant of Wildfell Hall fundamentally concerned with exploring the possibility of salvation? Helen Huntingdon, the leading female role in The Tenant, believes in Universalism, which is the belief that all people can be saved. From her first encounter with Arthur Huntingdon, she believes she can save him from his sins, and convert him into a man worthy of God's judgement. This portrays to the reader as sense of arrogance, as Helen is clearly guilty of spiritual pride, as she has put herself in the position to judge others. Mrs Maxwell, Helen's aunt, warns her about the type of man Arthur is, a reckless, debauched man, who only cares for himself, but Helen feels it is her duty to rescue him from his hectic lifestyle. 'his natural goodness' this shows Helen believes deep down Arthur is a good man, and she has the power to save him. The repeated use of the words 'know' and 'knew' emphasises her certainty that she has to go on and fulfil her duty in his salvation. ...read more.


She sarcastically implies she has a 'marble heart' and 'brutal insensibility' to emphasise her share of the blame. This then leads her to reflect upon her marriage, and try to salvage it by saving her husband, which would ultimately make her a better person, and rescue her son from following his father's footsteps. The quote; 'save him from that world and those companions' showing Helen feels it is her duty to save her son from the influences of her debauched husband. Helen pinpoints time in her journal with dates to represent the endurance of living her life. 'Another year is passed; and I am weary of this life', Helen is in despair, which is a sin, and so she turns to her morality to try and improve her situation 'I cannot wish to leave it', stating she cannot leave this sin on her conscience. 'I cannot wish to go and leave my darling in this dark wicked world alone' this self reflexive statement shows she feels it is her duty to save her son, to endure her life for him. ...read more.


Arthur feels he cannot face death without her forgiveness; he needs to repent in order to be welcomed by God in death. This paragraph portrays Arthur's human will in a very negative way, it shows his lack of strong will, as he feels he can not physically move onto the next life 'can't' this also conveys the contrast to Helen's persona, who has the motivation to help people in life, and endure her own life for God's sake as well as her son's. Huntingdon feels he cannot repent, as his pride will not let him 'I can't repent, I can only fear' this shows he cannot admit he is sorry, for he is scared of death. Overall the theme of religion is apparent throughout the entire novel, mainly revolving around Helen. Anne Bronte creates a character contrast with regards to Arthur and his wife, she is the salvation and he represents damnation. The religious background is influenced by Bronte's own religion; universalism, and the idea that everyone can be saved, if they repent and ask for forgiveness of their sins, this belief is portrayed through Helens character and her actions. Camille Kelly Mary Hurst ...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 Other Authors section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 Other Authors essays

  1. In the writing of Edgar Allan Poe, we see investigations into abnormal psychological states ...

    In both cases, the values of the protagonists' minds are so distorted that they can justify murder on the most irrational and feeble reasons. Both narrators ironically have rationally and logically planned out the murders. TTH: the narrator spends 7 whole nights painstakingly and with intense caution inching his head

  2. A Critical Analysis of 'The Yellow Wallpaper' by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

    mind and proclaims "I shall have to get back behind the pattern when it comes night, and that is hard!"

  1. The theme of the Gothic in Rebecca

    Rebecca's presence in Manderley is kept at a constant by Mrs Danvers's as she ensures that the west wing is 'frozen in time'(Du Maurier's Cornwall, pg 58) maintaining it, in particular Rebecca's bedroom.

  2. Heart of Darkness

    Kurtz is too weak not to succumb: he is seduced by it and lulled into believing that he is an omnipotent power, supreme ruler of his world, he totally blinded to the fact that in reality the wilderness of nature had "drawn him to its pitiless breast by the

  1. Sherriff wrote Journey(TM)s End to show the destruction of war. To what extent do ...

    Stanhope seems to symbolise this for all the men at war and the fact that he is referred to as a 'freak show' implies just how bad the soldier's mental states are. The fact that Hardy discusses Stanhope's situation in such a casual tone and that his drinking is done

  2. Social outsiders are often treated in a cruel and unjust way. Explore the presentation ...

    The novel is set in South America, after the slave abolition act. Alice Walker, the author of the novel, presents the reader with the voice of the social outsider through Celie, the female protagonist of the novel. The novel opens with Celie's voice, clearly that of a victim, isolated, with no one to turn to, except of God.

  1. Attitudes to Marriage and Women in Chopin and Gilman

    This woman seems to be caught behind bars, "[taking] hold of the bars and [shaking] them hard". She is "all the time trying to climb through" and yet "nobody could climb through that pattern". Now that the narrator is no more able to differentiate between what is external and internal,

  2. Explore Maria Edgeworth's use of the theme of names and titles within Castle Rackrent ...

    This however, had a very different meaning to the lower classes as they struggled against a wave of extortionate rents and famine. To these people the 'Big House' stood as a symbol of oppression against their people. The mistreatment of tenants by landlords was a well known phenomenon and one that Edgeworth venomously opposed.

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