Gothic Themes Portrayed By Religious Ceremony In Wuthering Heights With Reference To Jane Eyre

1740 words - 7 pages

The gothic theme become wildly popular after the publication of Horace Walpole’s ‘The castle of Otranto’ in 1764, this theme is prominent throughout the whole of ‘Wuthering Heights’, although it is most apparent during religious ceremony. Religious ceremony in this novel is mainly conveyed through death; ‘Jane Eyre’ also includes this in the novel. Each death is conveyed different but all have quite an eerie element, whether it’s how they die, the description of them after death, the reaction of loved ones or also where they rest such as their graves.

Catherine Earnshaw’s death in ‘Wuthering Heights’ seems to be quite a peaceful and pure, even Nelly describes her death as “divine”, she ...view middle of the document...

“I observed several splashes of blood about the bark of the tree, and his hand and forehead were both stained” there is a contrast here of how Catherine’s death is described as bloodless yet Heathcliff seems to be unable to grief until blood is drawn. Heathcliff is seen as a demonic lover, this is shown when he says “Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living” , this ultimately leaves Catherine in purgatory there for is stuck between the two worlds of the living and dead which brings a gothic feel to the novel as now Catherine is stuck as a ghost forever haunting Heathcliff and Wuthering Heights. Mr Rochester in the novel ‘Jane Eyre’ could also be described as a demonic lover, this is because although Jane knows of Rochester’s past she still accepts his love which could also be said the same about Catherine and Heathcliff.

It is suggested that Catherine does haunt Wuthering Heights when Lockwood claims to have seen her in a nightmare while in her room, “my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand” this gives a ghostly feel, she then says “Let me in-let me in!” “Who are you?” I asked, struggling, meanwhile, to disengage myself. “I’m Catherine Linton” it replied shiveringly” this shows that Lockwood is in fact seeing some sort of form of Catherine. Catherine’s ghost is a prime example of how the gothic theme carries on after death; this is due to her child like status as it is a chilling reminder of the fear of childhood deaths, “One could interpret as if she still has not found peace” because she has not moved on to heaven. Jane also lost everything while she was younger, as she lost her parents and her uncle and had to live with her aunt who did not love her. Jane feared death as a child when she was sent to the ‘red room’; this was the room in which her uncle had died in.
In ‘Wuthering Heights’ Catherine is thought to haunt the grounds as a ghost, we could say that Bertha is similar in ‘Jane Eyre’, as she could be seen as ‘haunting’ the halls of Thornfield at night. This is because no one knows she is there apart from Rochester and Grace Pool and Jane hears strange things such as laughter “the last sound I expected to hear in so still a region, a laugh, struck my ear.” Also strange events take place in the night, such as Rochester being lit on fire by Bertha. Both can be seen as gothic characters, Catherine because although she is dead she is seen as still living on as a ghost and Bertha because she’s alive but it’s as if she’s dead because she has lost her mind and is now as trapped as Catherine. This gives the reader the impression of both being lost souls. Because both have lost the ability to live as Bertha is no longer in control of her actions and Catherine is bound to live in an alternate world alone and her soul trapped. It is suggested Mr Rochester is a lost soul also, “He would not cross the door-stones of the house, except at night, when he walked just like a ghost about the grounds and in the...

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