Essay on Emily Bronte's Life and Its Mirror Image in Wuthering Heights

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Emily Bronte's Life and Its Mirror Image in Wuthering Heights   

    As we look to the past for clues to some authors and their works we may find clues to why they may have written some of these great works of art in their own life stories. Life and questions about it may have some effect on what some wordsmiths put to paper. If careful consideration is given to the past life of Emily Bronte the novel Wuthering Heights  may be seen as somewhat of a mirror of her life. Much of her life is shrouded in mystery, but there is evidence that can and should be looked at as similar to the lives of several of the characters with this great novel.


According to Juliet Barker, "Emily Jane Bronte was born July 30, 1818" (Barker 1). In the same article Barker points out that Emily's mother, Maria, died when she, "was only three" (1). Emily grew up therefore without a mother. Maria's sister and Emily's aunt Elizabeth did come to the family's aid to, "live as a housekeeper and was responsible for training the girls in the household arts" (Emily web page). Here we may have a clue to the origination of the character Nelly. This somewhat knowledgeable narrator of our story could possibly be based at least partially on Emily's aunt Elizabeth. Our author's aunt could have been an authoritative personality in her life. Nelly did seem to take on characteristics we might associate with a caring aunt in the life of a young woman.

Victor A Neufeldt writes that, "in 1835 Emily went to Roe Head School, where Charlotte, her sister, had recently been appointed as a teacher" (Neufeldt 2). Emily only stayed at the school for three months before she returned home. It seems as though she missed the wildness of her moors and could not stay away...

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...rt, but we may always look for the meaning behind it because of it long literary life.


Works Cited and Consulted

Barker, Juliet. The Brontes. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994.

Online: "Emily 'The Strange' Bronte, 1818-1848."  [Rpt. The Brontes, by Juliet Barker.  New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994.] 

IncompeTech's British Author Series: Emily Bronte:

Bronte, Charlotte. "Poems from the 1850 Wuthering Heights."  Wuthering Heights. Ed. William M. Sale, Jr.  New York: Norton, 1990.  (WH pp. 267-288).

Emily Jane Bronte Web page


Neufeldt, Victor A. "Emily Bronte." Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 32: Victorian Poets Before 1850. Ed. William E Fredeman. [City of Publication?]: University of British Columbia, 1984. 46-52.

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