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Is Wuthering Heights a gothic novel?

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Introduction

Is Whuthering Heights a gothic novel? Bronte begins her novel by setting an eerie atmosphere, depicting Wuthering Heights as an isolated, dark and old mansion; mansions and castles are the usual settings of a gothic novel. Wuthering Heights is surrounded by moors and though not mentioned, the reader would infer that any sound would be muffled adding to the impression of loneliness and despair. The book begins in the mist of winter, emphasising the desolateness and unfriendliness of the setting. The aggressive dogs add to the frightening scene along with Heathcliff?s appearance; a mysterious man of whom the reader is uncertain of his past and origins. ...read more.

Middle

Lockwood is at first uncertain, though hysterical, of what exactly happened. Heathcliff?s reaction suggests that Lockwood?s encounter was not a dream. However, the reader is uncertain of this, adding to the mystery of the novel. Disturbing visions and dreams as well as supernatural events are also another aspect of gothic novels in this case Bronte uses the two in one event. In the novel scenes often take place at night, this is a common metonymy used in various gothic novels; in this case Bronte follows the ?doom and gloom? metonymy which often refers to supernatural and mysterious events. ...read more.

Conclusion

Both Hindly and Heathcliff exert extreme authority and behave like tyrants adding to the fear in the novel. The weakness of Linton Heathcliff in contrast to the strength and authority of Heathcliff could also be an emphasis of tyranny in the book, which is common to gothic novels. The two Catherines as well as Isabella are mistreated throughout the novel. This is one of the major characteristics of a gothic novel, a woman in distress, which appeals to the reader?s sympathy. The concept of a narrator recording the events orally stated and recalled by another narrator is rare but does not stray from the usual gothic genre, as gothic novels are often sentimentally narrated. Bronte uses common gothic techniques in her novel to grab the reader?s attention. ...read more.

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