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Revenge in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Essay

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Wuthering Heights:   Revenge – The Strongest Theme       

           

 When Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, first appeared in 1847, it was thought to be obscene and crude (Chase 19).  To the common person, it was shocking and offensive, and it did not gain popularity until long after it was first published.  When the piece of literature became widely read and discussed, however, Bronte was declared as a “romantic rebel against repressive conventions and a writer who made passion part of novelistic tradition” (Chase 19).  Unlike earlier writers, Bronte used factors from her own life and passions that she personally held to construct her classic novel.  For example, Joseph’s bible-thumper character most likely symbolizes her father, who was a minister.  However, Bronte’s book is not only a breakthrough to literature in these ways.  The narration of the story is also very unique and divergent because there are multiple narrators.  Bronte’s character Lockwood is used to narrate the introductory and concluding sections of the novel whereas Nelly Dean narrates most of the storyline.  It’s interesting that Nelly Dean is used because of her biased opinions.  In addition, the structure of Wuthering Heights displays a uniqueness.  Just as Elizabethan plays have five acts, Wuthering Heights is composed of two “acts,” the times before and after Catherine’s death.  However, unlike stereotypical novels, Wuthering Heights has no true heroes or villains.  “Although this work was written in the Romantic Period, it is not a romance.  There are no true heroes or villain...


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...built up anger and resentment inside him and towards others.  The hurt that Hindley feels is clearly understood, but sympathy for Hindley is only temporary because it is still his own fault for his predicaments.  Hindley’s loss of Wuthering Heights to Heathcliff and his mysterious death reflect how revenge does not make anything better, only worse.

            Bronte corroborates that revenge is not only a harsh and rash way to live life, but is counter-productive and hurtful.  Out of all of her major themes, revenge is the most imminent.  The self-hurt involved with vengeance shows there are better ways to solve conflicts.  Bronte sends a great message across by showing how negative revenge can be.  There is no solution to obeying the spontaneous reaction of this negative reprisal.


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