Emily Jane Brontë was an English novelist and poet. She
published under the pseudonym andogin – Ellis Bell, because she wanted to rid of
prejudices against female writers. She became famous for her Wuthering Heights novel.
“The main subject matter of the
Victorian novel is the relation between self and society, a topic that can be
explored in many different ways”. ( The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian
Novel, p. 61 ) .
Wuthering Heights is her only
novel, but this has a very innovative structure which has puzzled critics in
some way. It tells the tale of star-crossed lovers Catherine and Heathcliff.
Catherine refuses to be with Heathcliff even she truly loves him, but he is too poor
for her, so Heathcliff fights hard to win his fortune, only to return home at
her but she was now married to Edgar.
The novel has a complex narrative structure ,
which tells the story and it includes
many plot twists and turns along the way. Although, the novel has many romantic
and realist features in it and these helps the author to have a very complex
novel full of variety.
A romantic feature presents in the novel is the fact that
the story is a kind of ” strange ” one, non-normative,
original and powerful. It has may characters with emotional excess. One of
these characters are represented by Heathcliff, who is an archetype of the
tortured romantic hero. He s name means ” arid rock ” , and from this point of
view the readers could understand his behavior. After Heathcliff disappointing
in love, he manage revenge on Catherine because she has betrayed him once. Heathcliff was also a rebel against social,
emotional honesty, self-destructive. “… Heathcliff s passions, instead of being
exalted, sanctified, made almost divine, are degraded, accursed, made almost
daemonic”. ( Stanford, 82 )
Another romantic features which
exists in the novel is the presence of the exotic setting : northern England’s
Yorkshire province, far from London. Here is the place where the action begins
and continues and is a place where Emily has many memories. So, the Catherine’s
dream is a suggestion of Emily connection with her native land. ” If I were in
heavens , Nelly, I would y very unhappy!…I once dreamt that I was finding
myself there. The heaven seemed to me a strange place ; and I was crying so
hard because I wanted to go back on the earth; and the angels got very upset and
they threw me out, right in the middle of the bushes, up at the Wuthering
Heights, where I woke up crying of happiness.”
Emily Brontë has also introduced is
her only novel realistic elements. These are very helpful for the readers to
understand very well the story and the personalities of the characters.
An realistic element is
illustred in the novel by narrative frame structure of
double narrators. The two primary
narrators of the book are Lockwood and Nelly Dean. The two characters are
reading others stories from the novel. Lockwood reads the diaries made by
Catherine and Nelly reads a letter send
by Isabella in which she tells how was her life at Wuthering.
Another realist element in the
novel is represented “by the subjects focused on key stages, relationships,
conflicts, socio-economic factors that characterize and affect ordinary human
life.” For example, birth, childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
“A realistic feature is also the
regional descriptive detail accumulates to realistically particularize the
time, place, culture of setting.” For example, character of Joseph.
In conclusion the novel “Wuthering Heights” has many
romantic and also realistic elements in its compounding. These elements make it
a well-established novel with a stunning story. Emily Brontë manage to create a unique novel and to put
a little of her life story in it.
Deindre, David. ” The Cambrigde Companion to The Victorian Novel”.UK, 2001
Derek Stanford, “Emily Bronte- Her life and Work”.
Ed. Peter Owen, London, 1960
Bronte, Emily. ” Wuthering Heights “,
Cambridge University Press, New York.
– Accesat : 03.12.2017