Effective Literary Elements in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Essay

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Effective Literary Elements in Wuthering Heights

    Critics analyze and examine Wuthering Heights to obtain a deeper understanding of the message that Emily Bronte wants to convey. By focusing on the different literary elements of fiction used in the novel, readers are better able to understand how the author successfully uses theme, characters, and setting to create a very controversial novel in which the reader is torn between opposite conditions of love and hate, good and evil, revenge and forgiveness in  Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights. There is no doubt that the use of conflictive characters such as Catherine Earnshaw, Heathcliff, and Edgar, with their interactions in the two different settings creates an excellent background for a doomed love story.


      The central theme of Wuthering Heights is a love story that challenges the established social rules in which the protagonists, Catherine and Heathcliff have lived; it is a story that survives the unfortunate choices that both lovers make and even mystically survives Catherine's death.  The protagonists fall in love despite the opposition of  Hindley Earnshaw.  Catherine's attraction for Heathcliff is so strong that she feels compelled go against her brother's wishes and the social class conventions existing at that time. However, after courting for a while, Catherine makes the tragic decision of accepting Edgar Linton's proposal for marriage. This decision brings about a conflictive situation between Heathcliff and both the Earnshaws and the Lintons. One day, Heathcliff overhears Catherine telling Nelly "It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now" (Bronte 59). This comment enrages Heathcliff and he storms out of the house; ...

... middle of paper ... illustrate how humans shape their way to unhappiness by not addressing their true feelings.   However, in the end, young Catherine and Hareton are able to acknowledge their feelings and choose to be happy.  They finally obtain the happiness that has eluded the previous generation of these English houses - Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange -  as clearly shown in the movie version directed by Peter Kosminsky. 


Works Cited

Bronte, Emily.  Wuthering Heights. New York: Dover Thrift

     Editions, 1996.

Charters, Ann, ed. The Story and Its Writer. 3rd ed. Boston:

     St. Martins, 1999.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Dir. Peter Kosminsky.

     Perf. Julliette Binoche, Ralph Fiennes, Sophie Ward,

     Simon Shepherd and Jeremy Northam. 5 Star Cinema.

     Bravo Special Presentation. Videocassette. 2002.


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