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

As readers we feel confused by the events of the first chapter. How does Bront achieve this and what is the effect?

Extracts from this document...


As readers we feel confused by the events of the first chapter. How does Bront� achieve this and what is the effect? From the outset, Bront� creates an air of mystery in both the characters and setting that contributes to the confusion felt by the reader. Many of the ideas and symbols used in the first chapter of the book epitomise the technique utilised by Bront� throughout the novel. "Wuthering Heights" has been described as a 'Chaotic novel'1and many believe that it is intended to confuse and bewilder the reader. After reading the first chapter, the reader is confused about the situation and questions are left unanswered. We are unsure about many of the facts. We know the date is 1801 and that Lockwood is a tenant of Heathcliff's at Thrushcross Grange, but we are unaware of any of the characters' significance in the novel. We are introduced to the servant, Joseph, and briefly encounter Zillah, although we are not told her name. The reader is not informed of the relationships between any of the characters. Bront� purposefully keeps the facts ambiguous, which emphasises the feelings of confusion. Bront�'s tone and style is mysterious and foreboding from the beginning. In particular, the use of descriptions such as 'gaunt', 'defended', 'jutting', 'crumbling' and 'grotesque' add to the grim feel of the novel from the start and the seemingly impenetrable facade of the characters. ...read more.


Depiction of the novel, from modern films to old paintings inevitably includes the imagery of the moors and 'tumultuous sky and wild landscape.'2Even in the opening paragraphs, the connotations suggested by words such as 'wilderness' and 'jutting' suggest a feeling of defencelessness to the reader. The landscape and weather is portrayed as all-present, frequently reoccurring in metaphors and in the characters themselves, such as the 'stormy'3Catherine. The reader feels overpowered and confused by the depth of thought in the novel as a whole and the vagueness of the first chapter. 'Tumult', 'gaunt', 'crumbling' and 'craving' when used to describe the surroundings at Wuthering Heights, also, simultaneously describes the feeling of confusion and helplessness that the reader experiences at the beginning of the novel. The confusion and feeling of being trapped in the novel is likely to be directly linked to Bront�'s own confusion and withdrawal from the world. Many of the Gondal poems Emily wrote as an escape included situations in which characters were trapped, often in prisons from which they could only escape through the imagination. Scholars such as Mary Visack have noted a progression in Emily's work from the poems to the novel in this way. This poem by Bront� shows uses of nature and weather, as well as very powerful language, 'descending', 'drear', 'darkening', to describe the same feeling of loneliness and isolation depicted in Wuthering Heights. ...read more.


The violence hinted at with the dogs contrasts again with these styles and is a direct precursor to events later in the book. "Wuthering Heights" is an extremely well-structured novel, in which Bront� is able to control the readers thoughts and emotions to add to the powerful effect of the novel as a whole. In the first chapter, she is able to create an air of mystery, confusion and intrigue which is enhanced and expanded as the story unfolds. Still many critics find "Wuthering Heights" 'a preposterous text'5 that is 'back to front'and refuses to make sense by 'normal' standards. There are certainly many levels the book can be read and enjoyed on. However, I think the most profound message in the book's confusion is the affinity it creates between Bront� and the reader. This message is also mirrored later in the similarities between Bront�'s own character and Heathcliff's and the parallels drawn between Bront�'s own religious crisis and the character of Joseph. Essentially, "Wuthering Heights" is the only insight into the mysterious and reserved Emily Bront�. 1 Patsy Stoneman, Introduction to 'Wuthering Heights', Oxford University Press 2 Patsy Stoneman, Introduction to 'Wuthering Heights', Oxford University Press 3 Patsy Stoneman, Introduction to 'Wuthering Heights', Oxford University Press 4 Patsy Stoneman, Introduction to 'Wuthering Heights', Oxford University Press 5 Patricia Parker, 'The (Self)-Identity of the Literary Text' RACHEL HOLMES ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Emily Bronte 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 GCSE Emily Bronte essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Isolation and loneliness in "Wuthering Heights"

    4 star(s)

    Earnshaw brought him into Wuthering Heights, a "dirty, ragged, black-haired child"(45; ch.7). Already he was inured to hardship and uncomplainingly accepted suffering. Heathcliff displays his strength and steadfastness when he had the measles, and when Hindley treated him cruelly if he got what he wanted.

  2. Examine the significance of place in Wuthering Heights.

    to get their revenge on Hindley, "But it was one of their chief amusements to run away to the moors in the morning and remain there all day", Every thing that Catherine and Heathcliff go through is taken onto the moors, "carried his ill-humour onto the moors...", it is almost like the moors is their place of comfort and escapism.

  1. Compare the presentation of two male characters, one from "Wuthering Heights" by 'Emily Bront' ...

    Radley walked into town at eleven-thirty every morning and came back promptly at twelve, sometimes carrying a brown paper bag that the neighbours assumed contained the family groceries." The Radley family were Baptist, maybe the church in Maycomb was another denomination, it does not state what denomination the church is in the novel.

  2. Examine why the first critics of Wuthering Heights thought the novel was subversive and ...

    Cathy is one of the main characters in Wuthering Heights and the plot revolves around the love between her and Heathcliff. She is "a haughty, headstrong creature!" and "mischievous and wayward". Cathy's will is also shown to be stronger than that of some men, "Edgar thoughtlessly laid hold of her hands to deliver him.

  1. Analysis of Catherine's Character in Emily Bronte's novel - Wuthering Heights.

    Before her arrival to Thrush cross grange she would of neither cared or commented on the way Heathcliff looked that the state he was in would of not troubled her however as the story moves on I can see that when she is at Thrushcross she is peaceful and ladylike

  2. Consider the importance of setting and weather in 'Wuthering Heights'.

    This is because her love for Edgar has developed in a shorter amount of time. Nelly describes Heathcliff "hard as Whinstone". This brings out the elemental, enduring quality of his character. This makes it sound like Heathcliff is a part of the moors and that this is where he has lived all his life.

  1. The opening three chapters of Wuthering Heights are very similar to chapters 5, 6 ...

    This power of extreme hatred and revenge is really what makes him so supernatural and almost inhuman, just like Jennet Humfrye's ghost in The Woman in Black. Both of them want revenge on anyone who comes their way, and both have lost a dear one to them.

  2. Both Wuthering Heights and Catcher in the Rye use very distinctive and individual characters ...

    He uses this as an every day adjective, like stupid, or annoying. It is used about a large number of the characters or events in the novel, showing that Holden has quite a cynical view of a lot of things in his world.

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