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Form, structure, context and critics…read more

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The novel takes the form of a diary, indicated
by the opening date, "1801". This realism
contrasts with the otherness of the events that
take place within.
A letter is used in the case of Isabella so that
the reader can hear her voice, for once, and see
what has happened to her in her absence.
The majority of the narrative is in the
feminine voice of Nelly, which feminist critics
have seen as a comment on the underlying
reliance of males on women.…read more

Slide 3

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There is a dual narrative, with Lockwood
recounting Nelly's retelling of the events. She
too sometimes takes on the voice of other
characters, by reading aloud Isabella's letter
for example.
This story-within-a-story structure is
mirrored in the room-within-a-room of the
oak cupboard in which Cathy sleeps, showing
the complicated nature of the plot and
relationships in the story.
Empson's 1930 book Seven Types of Ambiguity
argues that ambiguity, even in structure, is an
essential part of storytelling.…read more

Slide 4

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Bronte's poetic language comes through in similes
related to the natural world: "as different as a
moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire"; "my
love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks
Pathetic fallacy is also extensively used to mirror
the emotions of the characters; Catherine's distress
and Heathcliff's anger when he leaves are expressed
in the weather when "the storm came rattling over
the Heights in full fury".
Symbolism links Heathcliff with the wildness of
nature; he "foamed like a mad dog" and "howled ...
like a savage beast".
Imagery links Cathy's emotions to the landscape,
her humour "a mere vane" and experiencing…read more

Slide 5

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The novel was published in 1847, just after
what is generally considered the Gothic era in
The book was published under the pseudonym
of Ellis Bell, which reflects the attitudes to
women of the time, and highlights the
subversive nature of the female characters in
their independence.
Thrushcross Grange in its sophistication was
seen by many to represent the Enlightenment,
with the opposing Heights as Gothic passion
and raw emotion.…read more

Slide 6

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It has been suggested that Bronte's
relationship with her brother, Branwell, was
the basis for the Cathy/Heathcliff relationship
who, arguably, could have been siblings.
Branwell was also described as wild and
Bronte was undoubtedly influenced by the
Yorkshire landscape in which she grew up,
between a church and graveyard, and the
Bronte's strict religious upbringing could be
related to the negative portrayals of Joseph,
and religion, in the text.…read more

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