Wuthering Heights context

  • Created by: Mushcoco
  • Created on: 09-06-20 00:50

WH CONTEXT – Written in Victorian era, set in Georgian Era



Time periods:

. Written 1840’s ~Victorian Era~

. Set 1801 & 1770’s ~ Georgian Era~ 


.Emily Brontë, however, came of age in the earlier part of the Victorian era. Although institutional Christianity was beginning to be called into questionon a large scale, mass society still abided by religious sentiments and strict social codes.


.Women were expected to obey their husbandsrespectability and sexual propriety were the goalsand anyone who did not follow the implicit rules was criticized or ostracized


. The oppressive morality of the timeaffected Emily Brontë's upbringing, and it caused Wuthering Heights to be initially received unfavorably by critics and the public, fordefying the expectations of the time.





increasing tension among social classes in England during Brontë's lifetime

Industrial Revolution, which began in the 1770s, was in full swing, and the middle class was growing

.an upper class of nonworking landowners living off inherited or invested money,such as the fictional Earnshaws or Lintons, still thrived, and subscribed to a strict division between classes.Servants were considered underlings, there to do the bidding of their masters, and they were expected to know their place and stay there. (Heathcliff didn’t) 

.Nor was earning one's money a guarantee of attaining higher social statusLand and property were generally inherited from one generation to the next. 

The upper classes preferred to marry within their ranks to ensure the "purity" of their social class. Marrying up or down the social ladder, as Isabella Linton does with the lower-class Heathcliffcould lead to scandal and even exile.

When Heathcliff pursues his vendetta against the Lintons and the Earnshaws by acquiring their estates, he deprives the families of properties they held for generations.


^ Heathcliff – growing tensions between the classes 











Heathcliffis looked upon as an inferior outsider by many characters in the novel due to his dark hair and eyes, a sign of his supposed Gypsy origins. This is typical of romanticized notions about Gypsies during the Victorian period

 Gypsies, or Roma, had arrived in England from India around the early 16th century. They were nomadic traders, entertainers, or seasonal workers who traveled in caravans and, with the development of England's roads, were often seen in cities and towns throughout England. They were viewed with fascination both because they were seen as foreigners and because their nomadic lifestyle was so far outside of typical Victorian social norms.

.Brontë leaves Heathcliff's true ethnic origin unknownHeathcliff is not necessarily a gypsy; he is only labeled as such by the other characters, which is more a testament to the general dislike and stereotyping of Gypsies, and how anyone not British might be called a Gypsy.



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