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Wuthering Heights is a Story About Love and Revenge; How Is The Gothic Genre Used To Create Its Dark Destructive Atmosphere.

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Introduction

Wuthering Heights is a Story About Love and Revenge; How Is The Gothic Genre Used To Create Its Dark Destructive Atmosphere. Introduction to the Gothic Genre The term 'gothic' originates from the Goths. The Goths were a barbaric tribe of German invaders of the third century. The word 'Gothic' symbolises cruelty, darkness and pure evil. Many of the first novels had very strong gothic themes. 'The Mysteries of Udolpho' by Anne Radcliffe is one example, which was written in the eighteenth century. The Gothic Genre doesn't just apply to novels; it also applies to architecture, culture, print and clothes. In the nineteenth century gothic genre divided into two sub-divisions, horror and detective fiction for example. Wilkie Collins 'The Moonstone' and 'Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Bastervilles' a Sherlock Holmes Story are both examples of detective fiction. An example of horror fiction is Bram Stoker's Frankenstein! The gothic genre is still popular in todays modern world, for example Stephen King's novels. The gothic genre is also popular in the cinema. The gothic criteria includes: isolation, brooding, eerie atmosphere, extreme weather, the supernatural, secrets, tragic past, medieval links, vulnerable central characters and an evil villain. Atmosphere Although the novel is a love story, the passion described is intense, violent and very destructive. The gothic genre provides the ideal atmosphere for these emotions. The atmosphere of the novel starts having its effects on the reader as soon as we read the title 'Wuthering Heights'. The word Wuthering stands for stormy, violent, windy weather; this is very significant since the weather creates a very gothic atmosphere and is linked into the main events of the novel. ...read more.

Middle

He drives his fist through the glass and grabs the branch, he suddenly realises that he has hold of a hand "My fingers closed on the fingers of a little ice-cold hand!" This is where the haunting begins. He is so terrified that he baehaves out of character in a violent way "Terror made me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled it's wrists on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro till the blood ran down and soaked the bed-clothes" This shows that such a strong overwhelming fear came over him that he did something very evil and cruel. This is a very gothic and eerie act of violence which is also linked to the supernatural. There are also other examples of the supernatural. Catherine foresaw her own ghost haunting the place where she had grown up, she saw this when she was ill. Heathcliff violently curses Catherine's ghost he says her soul shall walk the earth until they meet again after his death (put quote here) Haunt Me! Heathcliff then does something beyond belief and digs up Catherine's grave, this is a very gothic action and totally abnormal. Heathcliff does this so he can see her body, but it's also to torment Catherine's ghost. At the end of this novel a boy sees both Heathcliff and Catherine wandering free on the moors in peace and harmony. Their spirits live on and they have only found happiness in death. The image that Bronte creates here is gothic and shows the power and depth of Heathcliff's twisted love. ...read more.

Conclusion

The way in which he treats Isabella is appalling; he only marries Isabella for her money, to get back at Edgar for stealing cathrine from him and so that he can become the owner of Thrushcross Grange. He unnecessarily hangs Isabella's dog in a tree which provides the reader with an ominous example of their relationship. He treats Isabella like filth, as if she is something that is stuck on the bottom of his shoe. He shows a complete lack of compassion towards her (put quote here). After he has wrecked Edgar's life he set's about gaining possession to Thrushcross Grange. He kidnaps Cathy so that she can marry Linton, this of course is completely illegal and unacceptable, however nothing is done about it (put quote here). He curses Catherine's spirit and digs up her grave, this is very gothic. Towards the end when Hareton stands up to him his desire for revenge disappears. Finally, he achieves happiness after death when finally he is reunited with the wandering ghost of Cathrine. Conclusion The love story told is very dark and the love and passion within it is destructive in such a way that it cannot be told. The revenge that Heathcliff desires is so very powerful that he cannot rest until he has wrecked everyone's life's, his need for revenge is as powerful maybe even more powerful than his love for Catherine. This revenge is because of love and the way he has been both emotionally, physically and mentally isolated. Emily Bronte creates menace and evil and behaviour that are far from what we would expect. The story is like a gruesome nightmare, it doesn't seem realistic throughout the novel. The emotion is supported by a gothic element. By Yousaf Mahmood ...read more.

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