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How does Bront create atmosphere and suspense in chapter 3 of Wuthering Heights?

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Introduction

How does Bront� create atmosphere and suspense in chapter 3 of Wuthering Heights? Emily Bront� creates atmosphere and suspense using her own artistic techniques, one method that she uses is palimpsestic which is narratives within narratives. This is Emily's only novel, it is an extraordinarily powerful and disturbing tale of the tempestuous relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff. From the start of the chapter, Bront� begins building suspense. After Lockwood has retired to his bed, he has several puzzling and uncomfortable experiences. For example, 'Writing scratched on the paint repeated in all kinds of characters large and small - Catherine Earnshaw, here and there varied to Catherine Heathcliff, and then again to Catherine Linton' This quote builds on prior knowledge of the mysterious 'Catherine'. This is Lockwood's first encounter with her and it is the same for the reader. The fact that the words are scratched into the wood is an indicator of Catherine's frame of mind. This could be said to be confused, isolated, unhappy and slightly obsessive. The reader is instantly engaged and wondering why it is there and what it can signify. The atmosphere is already tense and spooky, and these scratchings add to this. The fact that we meet Catherine in 'words' (scratchings and a diary) is an indicator of how important both Bront� and the people in the 19th century viewed the power of the written word. ...read more.

Middle

It is significant that Lockwood is in the limbo between being awake and being asleep. Indeed he carries through his working thoughts into his dream, from the diary he has been reading Catherine as a child appears to him. It is unclear whether he is awake or asleep. The author says this to illustrate the minds state whilst sleeping and how you carry thoughts into dreams. By having a diary, Catherine is preserving her childhood when she was happy and mischievous. Having a diary could be used to compare how she changed if she'd kept a diary when she was married etc. it might be slightly disturbing and obsessive just like when she scratched her name into the wood. Catherine continuously appears in this novel as unhappy, distraught except when she is a child and is with Heathcliff and in his memories of her. Books appear frequently in this novel, they are associated with education and culture, we are told the Heathcliff never reads, Catherine gets her education from books and although Heathcliff tries to keep up with her in her studies he cant and eventually gives up all together trying to impress her and be like Edgar Linton. In his second dream, Lockwood tries to the tree knocking by breaking the window. ...read more.

Conclusion

Each character that Emily Bront� has created has their own unique narrative style for example Nelly Deans language is colloquial as she speaks to Lockwood and is full of idiomatic expressions and imagery. Nelly's language can be vividly descriptive. Whereas Lockwood's is an educated, literary language, precise in its description of what he sees. However, his style uses a lot of words of a Latin origin which can make him seem pompous and stuck up, he uses language to keep disturbing emotions at a distance. His language emphasises that, both in social and emotional terms, he is an outsider. Emily Bront� was persuaded by her sister Charlotte, they published a joint collection of poems, under the pen names of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Wuthering Heights probably begun in autumn 1845, was published in December 1847. The reviews were mixed. The novel's power and originality were recognised, but fault was found with its violence, coarse language, and apparent lack of moral. In 1848 Emily became ill she died on 19 December 1848 of consumption, with characteristic courage and independence of spirit. Charlotte wrote in the 1850 edition of Wuthering Heights: Day by day, when I saw with what a front she met suffering, I looked on her with anguish of wonder and love. I have seen nothing like it; but, indeed, I have never seen her parallel in anything. Stronger than a man, simpler than a child, her nature stood alone. By Jess Smith ...read more.

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