‘The Gothic Elements of Wuthering Heights Are Made Credible by the Novel’s Setting and Narrators.’ How Far Would You Agree With This View?
Emilie Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ combines the elements of both horror and romance in addition to introducing a Byronic hero into the plot. Although this alone could be said to be enough to create an exemplar piece of Gothic literature, it is the setting which contributes heavily to forming the element of horror which makes this novel Gothic. The fact that the novel contains two narrators instead of one, means that two different views are involved in creating the drama within the text and in doing so contradict to some extent meaning the reader is left to their own individual interpretation of the information, and due to being exposed to a foreboding atmosphere at the beginning, seem to interpret scenes to be more violent or gothic than is described by the narrators.
Traditional gothic texts normally contain ‘a large mansion or remote castle’ such as ‘The Castle of Otranto’ which is believed to have been the first gothic text, ‘which is foreboding: usually isolated from neighbours.’ In ‘Wuthering Heights’, Bronte uses both Thrushcross grange and Wuthering Heights to depict the isolation and separation within the novel. From the outset, Wuthering heights is a tool used to create the dark and foreboding environment that Bronte craves, foreshadowing the gloomy atmosphere found in the remainder of the book. The hostile environment at the heights is reflected by the statement, ‘one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way as if craving arms of the sun.’ The gothic qualities possessed by Wuthering heights is further emphasized by an observation of its dwindling facades; ‘I paused to admire to admire a quantity of grotesque carvings lavished over the front, and...
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