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1818: Emily Bronte born (30th July) and Frankestein published

1846: Charlotte, Emily & Anne published under Currer, Ellis & Acton Bell - wasnt uncommon to adopt a pseudonym

(Used as they were women writers and they wanted to receive due critical attention)

1847: Wuthering Heights published

1848: Beginning of feminist movement and Emily Bronte dies

Robert Southey asserted 'literature cannot not be the business of a womens life and it ought not to be'.  - It is possible to argue that Wuthering Height simultaneously challenged Victorian ideas about what was proper for literature and women

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Setting

The desolate landscape = central motif and operates as a key metaphor for character, morality and psychological equlibrium.

Animal imagery = describes human frailty or moral deficiency

- Bronte's use of hostile weather conditions and bleak setting reflects the social hardships of the 19th century. (PATHETIC FALLACY)

The two locations are structural opposites:

Wuthering Heights - isolated, dark forbidding on the hillside

Thrushcross Grange - sunny and on the valley

The journey between the two is considered perilous and fraught even though they are only 4 miles apart

Descriptions of setting are in direct contrast with the romantic view of the open landscape as sublime and uplifting

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Gothic novel

Gothic = style of literature combining horror and romance - popular in late 18th + 19th century

Heathcliff's  profound passion and desire for Catherine extends beyond the grave and trascends the conventional boundaries of love and time, clearly places gothic ideas at the heart of the novel

Social Context:

- Orphans and child beggars were a common social problem

- Heathcliff's uncertain origins can be read as a realistic account of the social upheavals of the mid 19th century, which saw mass unemployment as a result of the industrial revolution and the decay of a rural lifestyle

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