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The Importance of Ghosts In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Essay

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The Importance of Ghosts In Emily Bronte's ‘Wuthering Heights’


‘My fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand! The intense horror of nightmare came over me: I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it’ (Page 20)

In this extract Lockwood thought he had a dream, he remembers that he ‘turned and dozed’ and dreamt again, but the above extract shows that this was different from any other dream, it is much more realistic and increasingly frightening. This leads the reader to believe that this really is not a dream and that a supernatural being is causing this entire disturbance. The importance that this has to the novel is that it adds an element of excitement and mystery, rather than Lockwood just having a dream about a ghost by the end of the extract, they believe that there really was one there.

What makes this part of the novel all the more stirring is the fact that there is evidence that this really was a ghost at Lockwood’s window. For instance Lockwood says that that name of the ghost was ‘Catherine Linton’:
‘(Why did I think of Linton? I had read Earnshaw twenty times for Linton)’ (Page20)

This is to say that in any dream one would not expect to dream about someone they had never met before, and they would expect for their dreams to be a collaged combination of all the things that had happened to them. In this particular extract Lockwood is saying that he had read the name Earnshaw, all he saw ‘was nothing but a name repeated in all kinds of characters, large and small-Catherine Earnshaw,’ Lockwood is saying that if this really was a dream then why did it say Linton?

The theme of the afterlife is repeated all throughout the novel, and is especially reiterated by the fact that Heathc...


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‘There’s Heathcliff and a woman, yonder, under t’ nab,’ he blubbered, ‘un’ I dare not pass ‘em.’ (Page 288)

The primary importance of this sighting of the ghost is that it could actually be real. The evidence for this was that the moors were very much a favourite place for Heathcliff and Catherine to go walking. This is important because it shows that their love for each other has lasted until after their death.

The most important piece of evidence for these ghosts being real is that ‘neither the sheep would go on’ with the boy. As human kind we always say that animals do have a sixth sense and that they can detect the ghosts and other spirits which new cannot. Brontë has used ideas like the sheep so that the reader can gain a real perspective of what was on the moors, and of course how strong the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff really was.


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