Wuthering Heights

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  • Created on: 19-06-18 11:23

The Symbolic Importance of the house 'Wuthering He


. Wildness

. Ungoverned Passion

. Extremity

. Doom

. Fiery Inhabitants

. 'Wuthering'- suggests violent storms

.'Heights'- imposing cliffs

. The house lacks warmth- 'dilapitated' and 'unkempt'- only changed at the end of the novel

. House associated with the dangerous moors.

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Symbolic Importance of the house 'Thrushcross Gran


. Restraint

. Social grace

. Civility

. Gentility

. Aristocracy

. 'Thrush'- a bird known for its melodical song, a symbol of Christian piety

. 'Grange'- a domestic site, a farm, particularly of a gentlemen farmer

. There is comfort and relative luxury at this site

. Associated with the dales

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Motif of Windows and Doors

. Represents isolation of characters

. Imprisonment- doors and windows locked at Wuthering Heights

. Oppression- mainly for females e.g when Cathy and Nelly are imprisoned by Heathcliff, Cathy forced to marry Linton

. Longing for freedom- Older Catherine staring out of the windows at Thrushcross Grange 'I want to be free and wild', however she is too unwell to leave

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Books in Wuthering Heights

. Represents education

. Presents the rebellious nature of the older Catherine- writing in the Bible as a Diary

. A symbol of affection- unites Cathy and Hareton

. Freedom, enlightenment, opportunity

. Lack of books brings restriction- when Heathcliff takes away all of Cathy's books and writing equipment, leaves her trapped and oppressed

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The use of storms in Wuthering Heights

. Foreshadows a tragic event e.g illness of Catherine

. Loss and separation- tree splits in storm displaying the separation of Catherine and Heathcliff

. Natural world reflecting the internation conflict of the characters (pathetically fallacy)

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Importance of the Supernatural Language used to de

. Gothic genre- adds to the gothic feel of isolation and death

. Presentation of the struggles of an outsider- gives Heathcliff a reason for revenge

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Bronte's use of setting

. Reader is introduced to the dilapidated Heights- the house has fallen into a state of disrepair in the wild Yorkshire moors

. The gloomy atmosphere is reinforced by the apparent presence of Catherine's ghost in chapter 3. In contrast, Thrushcross Grange is used to represent the more tempered side of human nature at the end of the novel- it is a presented homestead as opposed to the prison that Wuthering Heights becomes

. The use of the natural environment helps to create the feeling of a transcendental love. The Heights and the moors represent freedom. In chapter 9, Catherine dreams of the Heights as being a divine place; her own idea of heaven

. Additionally, Catherine believes that the love she shares with Heathcliff can be compared to the 'eternal rocks' that form the core of the earth; another powerful natural image

. The novel is based partly on the gothic tradition of the late 18th century. It features supernatural encounters, crumbling ruins, stormy nights and grotesque imagery. These contribute to an atmospheric novel, creating effects of mystery and fear.

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References to the Supernatural

. Heathcliff is described in supernatural terms. Throughout the novel he is severally referred to as being a 'goblin', a 'ghoul' and a representation of the devil

. Heathcliff and Catherine's passionate love is expressed in his attempts at necrophelia; his desire to hold Catherine's corpse is an indication of his overwhelming love for her that even death cannot quash. His desire to be buried with her is a physical desire to lie next to her

. The spiritual bond that exists between them is revealed in chapter 9 when Catherine states that 'I am Heathcliff' and she speaks of how their love resembles the 'eternal rocks'. Heathcliff wants to give this bond physical substance

. It could be argued that Heathcliff's belief in ghosts in chapter 29 is a sign of his grief,as well as a sign of his determination to be reunited with Catherine in a spiritual sense. As he tries to dig up Catherine's corpse he believes that the ghost of Catherine comes to him and leds him back to his home, away from the grave

. Perhaps this is meant to be an indicator that Heathcliff subconsciously beleives that his attempts to disinter Catherine's body is wrong; that it will ultimately be a waste of time anyway- his bond with Catherine existed on a predominantly spiritual plain and there is little chance of his bond achieving physcial form

. Indeed, there has been little hope of this since she agreed to marry Edgar in the early stages of the novel.

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