Introduce the book
Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Bronte, had no promise when originally published in 1847. It was selling very poorly and received mixed reviews. The Victorians shocked by the content between the covers found the depiction of passionate, ungoverned love and cruelty inappropriate. Wuthering Heights by Victorian readers was ignored. Today however, Wuthering Heights has a secure position as one of the great works of English Literature. Emily Bronte is now revered as one of the finest writers of the 19th century.
Brief intro to the author.
Born to a clergyman from Yorkshire, Bronte left home at age six to join her sisters at a harsh boarding school. After two of them died, Emily and her sister Charlotte (author of Jane Eyre) returned home, where, with their sister Anne and their brother Branwell, they created a complicated fantasy world; the children wrote a series of stories, plays, and poems, some of which they collected and published. Though Emily left home several more times, she always returned to the beloved moors of her childhood. She published Wuthering Heights the year before she died of tuberculosis.
Summary of the book.
A lodger who has rented a manor house in Yorkshire becomes acquainted with his aloof, surly landlord, Heathcliff, and his family. The lodger, Mr. Lockwood, is forced to spend a night at his landlord's residence, called Wuthering Heights, and he is frightened by what he witnesses in the house, making him curious about the landlord and his lovely, silent daughter-in-law, Cathy. When Lockwood becomes ill, he asks his housekeeper, Ellen Dean, to tell him Heathcliff and Catherine's history, and Mrs. Dean obliges him with a detailed account of Heathcliff's great, star-crossed love and how Cathy became a part of the household.
Any overarching themes to the book.
One of Wuthering Heights’ themes is the Supernatural. The novel constantly conjures ghosts and spirits. These deceased refuse to leave the living alone. The living also accept that the dead find ways to haunt them. Unlike traditional Gothic tales, some characters welcome the visitations. Heathcliff regularly seeks out Catherine’s ghost. In his desperation, he even digs up his grave to be closer to her. Bronte uses otherworldly figures to emphasize the passionately, violent love between Catherine and Heathcliff; their connection is so powerful that death cannot stop it.
Central to the plot is love. Love is another major theme in Wuthering Heights. The novel explores the variety and complexities of love. Catherine and Heathcliff display an all-consuming passion for one another. Although noble in its purity, it is terribly destructive. In contrast, the love between Edgar and Catherine is civilized rather than...