English L + L A2 - Wuthering Heights (Structure, Form and Language)

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Structure

Dual Narration

- It is a story within a story within a story

- Lockwood is unreliable as he mistakes social relationships and misreads Heathcliff

- Nelly's narrative is better than Lockwoods and this contrasts to Victorian literature

- Both Nelly and Lockwood can be seen as narrators and actors (active in action)

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Form

Genre

- There is an uncertainty of what genre the book is (fantasy or horror)

- It causes us readers to rethink about our wisdom, to reconsider the prejudices which we take for granted and to take delight in contradiction and paradox

- The novel combines lots of different genres

- Can be seen as a gothic novel with the fantastic and supernatural

- Looks at the relationships between culture and nature

- Can be seen as a romantic novel due to the fact that it mentions about dreams and the unconscious

- Religion and love

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Form Continued...

The Gothic

- By 19th Century the Gothic was a popular form e.g. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

- Gothic literature combines atmospheric power and romance

- Gothic narratives are complicated and detailed and based on feeling and emotion

- Wuthering Heights is described by Lockwood as decorated with 'a quantity of grotesque carving lavished over the front, and especially about the principal door ... a wilderness of crumbling griffins' page 4

- House acts like a prison for Cathy and Nelly

- Lockwood describes the room at WH as 'swarming with ghosts and goblins!' page 27

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Form Continued...

The Narrators

- Presence of the narrator is comforting because the narrator is a survivor

- Bronte chosses to have two narrators, one of which is female and the other male

- Nelly outclasses Lockwood as a narrator

- Able to see information which is never made explicit by reading between the lines

- Because we can see the accounts provided by the narrators as biased, we can see what the narrators cannot tell us e.g. page 13 'It is strange ... how custom can mould our tastes and ideas; many could not imagine the existence of happiness in a life of such complete exile from the world as you spend, Mr Heathcliff; yet, I'll venture to say, that, surrounded by your family, and with your amiable lady as the presiding genius over your home and heart-' -> Lockwood cannot tell us about the complex relationship between Heathcliff and Cathy but he still alerts us to it

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Language

Dialect

- Joseph's dialect shows his unwillingness to change and this therefore makes him literally difficult to read

- Nelly's ability to understand Joseph's dialect but speak in standard English shows she understands different discourses

Poetic Language

- Page 248 'One time, however, we were near quarrelling ... ... I wanted all to sparkle, and dance in a glorious jubilee'

Imagery and Symbolism

- Uses metaphors for human frailties or moral deficiencies e.g. Linton is described as a 'chicken' page 207 and Heathcliff as a 'mad dog' page 162

- Lockwood mistakens a heap of dead rabbits as a chairful of cats shows him as both unobservant and incapable of reading animal imagery

- Description of the male characters being beasts can be perceived as highlighting that Cahterine is a reluctant bride

- Novel is packed with lots of animals -> 'Hareton's whiskers enroached bearishly over his cheeks'

- Heathcliff is described as supernatural and an animal -> 'demon' and 'mad dog'

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Language Continued...

- Dreams are very important in WH and they are related to magic, visions and ghostly apparitions

- Both Lockwood and Heathcliff believe that Lockwood's dream wasn't a dream

- When Catherine is dying Nelly describes Heathcliff as a 'creature [not] of my own species' page 162 and when near to the end of the novel she questions 'Is he a ghoul, or a vampire?' page 330

- 'Vision' that Nelly has by the signpost of Hindley as a child 'turning into' Hareton who then 'turns into' Heathcliff

- Landscape acts as a metaphor for human behaviour or characteristics

- Catherine experiences whole 'seasons of gloom' and 'her humour was a mere vane for constantly varying caprices' page 160

- Landscape is first seen through Lockwood as a difficult place to find your way around just like the first characters he meets -> At the end when the conflicts have ended, 'benign sky' and 'quiet earth' page 337

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