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Wuthering Heights: Romanticism.

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Introduction

1021 European History - Grade 10B Wuthering Heights: Romanticism The late eighteenth century saw the beginning of the romantic era, an artistic and intellectual movement. This period, shaped by political and social events such as the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, was a change from the earlier classical era of order and proportion. Such profound themes as nature, emotion, originality, and self-expression, began to influence different pieces of art and many works of writing. Authors produced literature that reflected this wild and free-spirited imagination, and their works dismissed the Enlightenment thinkers in their claims of reason, progress and universal truths. These writers, such as Emily and Charlotte Bronte, delved into worlds of superstition, the wild, the unfamiliar, the irregular and the dangerous. Other common elements involved in their works, included a renewed interest in Gothic romance elements, which explored the passionate dark sides of man. Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Bronte, is a novel of beautiful and mysterious nature, the supernatural, and extreme emotion, assembling one of the greatest Gothic novels of the late Romantic era. Nature, according to the Enlightenment philosopher Rousseau, was a source of inspiration and emotion, both stunning and mystifying. ...read more.

Middle

The intense horror of the nightmare came over me; I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, "Let me in - let me in!" Terror made me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed to and fro till the blood run down. - Lockwood (pgs. 20-21) Such supernatural feelings and appearances are a consistent threat to the mindset of the characters that reside in Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights, "I was superstitious about dreams then, and am still; and Catherine had an unusual gloom in her aspect, that made me dread something from which I might shape a prophecy, and foresee a fearful catastrophe (pg. 71)." After Catherine's death, Linton and Heathcliff are torn to ravages emotionally, and Heathcliff is almost driven insane by images of Catherine's ghost wandering the moors. After Heathcliff's death, Lockwood comes upon a crying boy who claimed to see Heathcliff and a women wandering over the hills, " 'He probably raised the phantoms from thinking, as he traversed the moors alone, yet still I don't like being out in the dark now, and I don't like being left by myself in this grim house (pg. ...read more.

Conclusion

When Catherine dies, Heathcliff is certain that Linton and Hindley are the cause of it. He, "kicked and trampled on Hindley, and dashed his head repeatedly against the flag...(Pg. 157)." Showing no remorse for his actions, Heathcliff continues on his emotional rampage, and before Catherine's coffin is covered up, he "struck one side of the coffin loose - and covered it up - not Linton's side, damn him! I wish he'd be soldered in lead - and I bribed the sexton to pull it away, when I'm laid there, and slide mine out too - I'll have it made so, and then by the time Linton gets to us, he'll not know which is which (pg. 255)." Nature, the supernatural, and extreme emotions were some of the many aspects of novels written in the romantic era. An artistic and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 18th century and characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and imagination, departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism, and a rebellion against established social rules and orders, the Romantic period produced some of the finest works of art, music, and literature ever to grace the earth, including Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. 2 ...read more.

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