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Wuthering Heights NOTES published in ... Acton and Ellis Bell her sister Charlotte describes the composition of the book ... It illustrates a pre-moral vision of life ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Emily%20Bront

Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights

  • published in 1848 under the pseudonym Ellis
    Bell (the same initials as hers)
  • two years before the Brontë sisters had published
    a volume called Poems by Currer, Acton and Ellis
  • her sister Charlotte describes the composition of
    the book as if it was involuntary, produced by
    creative gifts Emily was not completely aware of

  • She wrote
  • It is rustic all through. It is moorish and
    wild, and knotty as the root of heath.
  • feelings, passions, narrative complexity,
    shifts of time and perceptions

  • Wuthering Heights
  • the main setting
  • solitary, gloomy, strong building facing the
    winds and storms of the moor
  • a place of the mind, where Catherine and
    Heathcliff belong
  • Thrushcross Grange
  • its counterpart
  • light building placed on the plain
  • the place of order and normality, where people
    are happy or unhappy for very ordinary reasons

  • Wuthering Heights
  • a metaphor of childhood and adolescence, a world
    peopled with creatures of the imagination
  • the children of storm/nature live here
  • Thrushcross Grange
  • a symbol of adulthood, to which those who belong
    to reality must emigrate
  • the children of calm/culture live here

Gothic elements
  • general suspended atmosphere
  • supernatural elements, unquiet graves, wild
    landscapes, illicit passions, queer dreams
  • contact between the living and the dead
  • the mysterious male character coming from nowhere
    who becomes the villain of the story

  • but Heathcliff is much more than that
  • We crowded round, and I had a peep at a dirty,
    ragged, black-haired child
  • He seemed a sullen, patient child hardened,
    perhaps, to ill-treatment
  • handsome, savage, irresistible, cruel, devilish,
    self-destructive, a genuine bad nature, INSTINCT

  • the features Freud ascribed to the id apply to
    him perfectly
  • the source of psychic energy
  • the seat of the instincts
  • the essence of dreams
  • the archaic foundation of personality selfish,
    asocial, impulsive

  • Freud civilization is built on repression
  • People learn to live with one another by
    internalizing social rules which define certain
    forms of behaviour and speech as unacceptable
  • The uncanny is the return of the repressed we
    are frightened by uncanny occurrences not because
    they are totally outside and unknown to us but
    because they are part of our nature that we
    cannot afford to acknowledge as our own if we
    want to be civilized

  • Victorian readers found the book strange they
    couldnt work out its moral standpoint. Some
    thought it was violent, morbid, immoral
  • (Should social conventions be trampled on by the
    force of passions?)
  • It illustrates a pre-moral vision of life

  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse,
  • Was man aus Liebe macht, ist immer jenseits von
    Gut und Böse.

Narrative technique
  • made complex by the presence of two internal
    narrators /points of view
  • several other narratives interspersed in the
  • action presented as eyewitness narrations of
    people involved
  • not parallel narrations, but a multi-layered
    narration, each springing from another

  • Lockwood the outer framework of the story
  • then becomes the recipient of Nellys narrative,
    and she in turn the recipient of other narratives
  • Nellys narrative highly dramatised
  • often records conversations of other characters
  • direct participation of the reader theatrical

Passage from Chapter 9
  • Nelly reports a conversation she had with
    Catherine before her wedding to Edgar Linton
  • Catherine tells Nelly about the reasons why shes
    going to marry Edgar Linton

  • similes describing her love for Edgar and her
    love for Heathcliff
  • the foliage in the woods
  • the eternal rocks beneath
  • complete identification between her and
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