Discuss the forceful nature of Wuthering Heights and the different events that conspire to produce it.

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                                                                                                   Claire Chambers

Discuss the forceful nature of Wuthering

Heights and the different events that conspire

 to produce it.

        Wuthering Heights was written by Emily Bronte, who was born on July 30th, 1818 and was one of six children. Along with her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, Emily began writing mythology as a child, from their imaginary worlds they created, places such as Gondal and Angria. The three sisters wrote under the pseudonyms Ellis, Acton and Currer Bell.

The relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff is powerful when compared to those in earlier literature. The novel Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen was written between 1796 and 1813. The central relationship between the two main characters is restrained and inhibited when compared to the passion between Heathcliff and Cathy. This may be because the novel was written in an era between Romanticism and Gothicism and is something that contributed to the forceful nature in the novel.

        Emily lived a withdrawn and reclusive life, spending much of her time at home in Haworth. She never made any close friends outside her family circle. She enjoyed walking on the moors and she took care of her brother Branwell who died in 1848 because of his excessive drinking. It is from Branwell that Emily might have taken the idea of the character of Heathcliff. Cathy describes Heathcliff accurately, when she says, “I'd as soon put that little canary into the park on a winter's day, as recommend you to bestow your heart on him! He's not a rough diamond--a pearl-containing oyster of a rustic: he's a fierce, pitiless, wolfish man.”

        Branwell had high literary and artistic ambitions that ended up in disappointment. He was a constant source of trouble for his family. He presented Emily with first hand experience of the wretched spectacle of masculine depravity. Rumours were started, by his old drinking pals after his death, that he wrote Wuthering Heights. The mid 19th Century was a deeply misogynist place and the critics of the time couldn't quite believe that the novel could have been written by a woman, especially some of the more violent scenes. However, Branwell was an extremely bad writer and there was no way he could’ve written the novel. The theme of excessive drinking is found in many Bronte novels and this could’ve been inspired by Branwell.

        Emily’s only novel, Wuthering Heights was published in December 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell. It attracted considerable critical attention: readers were shocked and horrified by the sheer violence of Emily’s novel. Many people thought it impossible that a sheltered clergyman’s daughter penned it. The book was not an immediate success, but it is now thought of as one of the finest books in the English language. A year after Wuthering Heights was published, on December 19th, 1848, Emily Bronte died tragically of tuberculosis at the age of 30.

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Wuthering Heights was set in rural Yorkshire in the last forty years of the eighteenth century and first two of the nineteenth. There were big differences between the two classes at the time. The upper class lived in grandeur and comfort, which was at a contrast to the working class. The neighbouring Lintons are of a higher class, both because they have more money and don’t seem to have to work, and because they are better educated. The difference in status between the Earnshaws and Lintons is clear. The Lintons treat Heathcliff badly and send him away from their house ...

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