28 novembre 2012

Wuthering Heights

Love and passion - Wuthering Heights

“…he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same... “

 The novel talks about two houses, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, respectively property of the Earnshaws and the Lintons.
Mr Lockwood goes to live to Thrushcross Grange, and one day he goes to Mr Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights. Despite of Mr Lockwood’s will to leave the house, he is forced to stay there all night because of a snowstorm. During this night, he dreams of a ghost of a girl named Catherine who wants to enter through the window. 
The story about this dream upsets Mr Heatcliff
When Mr Lockwood returns to his own home, he asks the housekeeper Nelly to tell him the whole story of Wuthering Heights...

...Mr Earnshaw, Catherine’s and Hindley’s father, one day returned from Liverpool with a foundling, HeatcliffHindley was bad with the boy, while Catherine became his best friend; in fact the girl and the foundling promised to stay together forever. But one day Catherine was bitten by Linton’s dogs in Thrushcross Grange and to get well, she was forced to pass there five weeks. During this time, she met Mr Linton’s daughter, Isabella, and her brother, Edgar.
When Catherine returned at home, Heatcliff saw her changed about her dresses and her behaviour.
Edgar proposed to her, and she accepted. 
Heatcliff overheard a conversation between Catherine and Nelly, in which the girl told the housekeeper that she had accepted Edgar’s proposal because even if she loved Heatcliff, she could not marry him because he was socially inferior. With these news in his heart, Heatcliff decided to leave. 
Then Catherine married Edgar and went to live with him to Thrushcross Grange.

Three years later, Heatcliff returned rich, handsome, and determined to take his revenge.
His first step was the revenge on Hindley, that was become a drunkard man, and so Heatcliff won Wuthering Heights from him.
Then, after a fight with Edgar, Heatcliff escaped with Isabella and married her. But they were not happy together because he did not love her, and treated her like a servant.
Catherine gave birth to a daughter, Cathy, but the parturient died.

Some years later, Heatcliff kidnapped Cathy and forced her to marry his son Linton.
So he became the owner of Wuthering Heights and of Thrushcross Grange... 

After this story, Mr Lockwood leaves Yorkshire and comes back after a year.
During this time, Heatcliff and his son are dead, and Cathy and Harenton, Hindley’s son, are going to get married to live happy together.

Nelly tells Mr Lockwood that there is a rumours about two ghosts, a man and a woman, wondering together on the moors.

Wuthering Heights is the only novel written by Emily Brontë. It was published in 1847 with the pseudonym Ellis Bell
It did not know immediately the success , the critics were against the lack of a moral ending and shocked by the cruel details of the revenge in the story. 
The book explores some of human passions and analyses their consequences; feelings are presented in a state of purity. The spirit of Romanticism is still present in this book thanks to the violent passions of characters and the wild landscape, that reflect the psychological conflicts of the characters.

Heathcliff is the “Byronic hero” moved by passions, doomed to a solitary life and with the tendency to identify himself with his lover. Heathcliff is also the villain, like the ones of gothic novels, with his inhuman treatment of his wife and son. 

Other gothic elements in the novel are the sinister atmosphere of Wuthering Heights; Catherine’s ghost; the dreams and the superstitions always mentioned in the book. 
These elements are not used to frightened the readers, but to explain well the opposition between love and hate. In fact the novel is built around this opposition becoming with the two houses. 

Wuthering Heights reflects Heathcliff’s nature, severe and brutal; Thrushcross Grange reflects Linton’s nature, gently and respectability. 
The two houses are opposite because one follows the principle of storm and energy and the other the principle of calm. 
They are complementary, too, and they tend to the union. In fact the marriage between Harenton and Cathy brings harmony after Heatcliff’s brutal revenge. 

Death is another theme present in the novel, it does not represent the end, like the other Victorian writers, but a liberation of spirit. 
Death is like a sleeping. 

The novel have a complex structure : there are two narrators, Mr Lockwood and Nelly
The narration is not chronologically: it becomes almost in the end and Nelly comes back with some flashbacks. This structure creates a sense of suspense and mythical atmosphere. 

The novel is also compared with Shakespeare’s ones, because of its turbulent passions, but it anticipates the novel of 20th century because of its description of characters. 

Rate: 5/5


 Emily Brontë was born in 1818 in Yorkshire; she was the daughter of a Anglican clergyman. 
Her brother was alcohol and drugs addicted and died soon. 
With her sisters, Charlotte and Anne, she does not receive a formal education, for this reason she studied after their mother’s death and they began to wrote together a cycle of stories and some poems, but today we have only few lines. 
She was influenced by Tabitha Aykroyd’s presence, her ruler, that used to tell stories about ghosts to the children. 
They read a lot from their father’s library. 
She worked as a teacher in a school near Halifax but after few months she leaves and dedicated herself to house and to the painting. 
In 1842 she went with Charlotte to Bruxelles to learn better the languages in a private school. 
One day Charlotte found Emily’s book of poems and convinced her sisters to published a book of poetry made by herself, Emily and Anne: “Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell”. 
To protect their life, they used a pseudonym. 
After Charlotte’s “Jane Eyre”, “Wuthering Heights” was published, but it was criticized because of his lack of a moral ending and its innovative structure. 
The 19th December 1848 she died of tuberculosis at thirty years. 
Thanks to her sister, we know that she was courageous against the ill, in fact, she did not take any medicine and asked for a doctor only the day when she died.  

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