"Literature is not innocent. It is guilty and should admit itself so." What does Bataille mean by this, and is he justified?
"Literature is not innocent. It is guilty and should admit itself so." What does Bataille mean by this, and is he justified? When Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights1 was published, it was deemed by many to be a story of sinister and evil content, and this view was especially centred on the character Heathcliff. Many readers, in general terms, would see the novel as guilty as opposed to innocent (it must be remembered here that Bataille uses the words guilty and innocent not with their everyday meanings, but with meanings that he constructs for the purpose of his argument), and this is perhaps why Georges Bataille chose to include it in his study, Literature and Evil2, and also why the title quote is so relevant to the book. But what does Bataille actually mean in this quote? What is his definition of innocent and guilty? Also, how does this relate to Wuthering Heights (the text we shall concentrate on here) and is Bataille justified in the conclusions he makes? It is important then to firstly attain a good idea of the meaning of Bataille's terms, as a starting point for this essay. When we think of the word innocent, the word good also comes to mind. Innocence is the state of having done nothing wrong, and so something that commits no wrongs must then be good, and therefore free from guilt. Bataille gives this utilitarian based view of Good; it is "based on a common
Heaven, Hell and the Duality of Catherine Earnshaw
Elsbeth Loughrey Writing 125 March 8, 2002 Heaven, Hell and the Duality of Catherine Earnshaw In her novel Wuthering Heights, author Emily Brontë attempts to express to the reader her views regarding happiness, personal satisfaction, and the attainment of each of these conditions. Through the use of certain literary techniques, Brontë makes clear her view that one creates and defines his or her own heaven or hell and must accept this identification, rather than conform to society's or others' standards of happiness. She establishes and expresses these opinions through the use of heaven and hell imagery and the manner in which each of these states relates to the main female character in the work, Catherine Earnshaw. More specifically, each of the main settings is assigned a heavenly or hellish identity according to more conventional criterion, identities that are later reinterpreted by Catherine while engaging in a struggle to find or create her own happiness. The first location to which the reader is introduced is Wuthering Heights, home of the Earnshaw family. The estate a place continuously described using terms that emphasize and establish its hellish and chaotic nature. The images constructed include obvious allusions to hell and the devil, as well as more subtle descriptions involving fire, heat, darkness, and violent weather. The narrator, William
Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights - Cathy's Narcissism and Fragmentation
Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights - Cathy's Narcissism and Fragmentation Evidence for Cathy's confinement in narcissism can be found in language describing her infantilism. She is referred to as a "wailing child". (162) However, the most important evidence can be found in Cathy's own speech when she says:- "But I begin to fancy you don't like me. How strange! I thought, though everybody hated and despised each other, they could not avoid loving me - and they have al turned to enemies in a few hours." (159) Cathy's narcissistic self love is a response to being denied a life and a story of her own. The mirror is a psychoanalytic symbol for narcissism and in Wuthering Heights Cathy is continuously "straining her gaze towards the glass." (161) For Cathy, it is not a "mirror", it is a "black press." (161) Black has resonances of an empty space, whereas a "press" could be a printing press for printing Cathy's story. Cathy's misrecognition reinforces the notion, however, that she has no story to print, since her life is empty like a black hole. Ellen says: "There is no press in the room and never was". (161) In other words, Cathy has never had a story to tell. Nonetheless, Cathy still attempts to find her own story when she runs to the window and opens it. Cathy is greeted by the "frosty air" of an unfeeling patriarchy, which "cut about her shoulders," symbolically
Compare and contrast the ways in which women writes connect 'writing' with'the body'.
Compare and contrast the ways in which women writes connect 'writing' with 'the body'. The two texts that I am going to consider are Jeanette Winterson's 'Written on the Body' and Charlotte Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights'. They will form some interesting contrasts and unexpected comparisons, due to the context, of different time periods. Bronte's references to the body are somewhat subtler and do not reveal explicit sexual references, but it will be fascinating to contemplate whether either text conforms to the conventions and ideas of the body within the romantic genre. I will delve into the writes attitudes to the body and how they divulge these through style, language, metaphors and above all the major theme of love. I will additionally take into account the feminist perception, particularly that of Judith Butler, and literacy criticism of the body and furthermore, touch on Freud's theory and its connection to the texts. The body has numerous definitions but even the body itself as "a. The entire material or physical structure of an organism, especially of a human or animal. b. The physical part of a person. c. A corpse or carcass."1 denotes a great deal. The body can signify numerous things within a narrative due to its sexual connotations, complexity, social values and above all connection to our identity. Both, Winterson's 'Written on the Body' and Bronte's 'Wuthering
Discuss the forceful nature of Wuthering Heights and the different events that conspire to produce it.
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
How do the two houses, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, relate to the major characters and themes in Wuthering Heights?
How do the two houses, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, relate to the major characters and themes in Wuthering Heights? Wuthering Heights the novel is full of many themes. There is passion, revenge, and destruction within the novel. There are also darkness and light, heaven and hell, storm and calm, love and hate, crime and punishment, ignorance versus education, nature versus culture and life and death within it. The main contrasts in the book are between the two houses that are the homes to most characters in the novel, Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights with the former representing heaven, light and peace, and the latter more reminiscent of hell, dark and hostility. The houses feature so much in this novel, with even the title "Wuthering Heights" being the name of one of them, it could be said that the two houses almost take place as characters themselves. The book (as well as many of the characters contained within it) has a sensation of the wild and desolate. The actual physical landscape of the novel is described in such a way that it reflects the emotional landscapes of many of those who live within it. Emily Brontë wrote Wuthering Heights in the mid 19th Century, a time when Gothic novels were popular. A typical Gothic novel has elements of horror, supernatural, cruelty, terror and suspense. Usually set in monasteries or castles, Gothic novels and