Written in a period of emerging writing genres, Emily Bronte used Gothicism to develop aspects of Wuthering Heights. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, the Gothic writing style is of or relating to a style of writing that describes strange or frightening events that happen in mysterious places. While that definition does not begin to encase all parts of the Gothic writing style, it does deeply reflect much of the theme in Wuthering Heights. Gothicism is present through violence, revenge, death, and superstition. These themes have determined the course of the plot allowing Emily Bronte to successfully represent Gothicism. The mood of Gothicism links events and people together (Gregor 5) creating an unique work of gothic literature.
Violence is very prominent within Wuthering Heights. In the very beginning of the book, we see Mr. Lockwood being attacked by Heathcliff’s dog while Heathcliff does not respond with urgency and allows it to happen. After this frightful experience, he gets sick and desires company. Nelly stays by his side and is the one who informs him of the troublesome and deeply violent past of the manor. Throughout the book she reveals a long history starting with Heathcliff. Heathcliff is the cause of many violent arguments in the book that fuel the plot and allow it to move forward. It seems as if violence in this book is not limited to arguments and attacks. It is also subject to physical and domestic violence.
Regarding the events of Wuthering Heights, alongside the tragic love stories, there appears to be a revenge plot supplementing them. What separates Wuthering Heights from books like Romeo and Juliet is the characters constant need for revenge. If revenge was absent in the book, it would be rather predictable and it would not completely honor what it means to be a gothic novel. There seems to be a revenge cycle within the main characters that is almost never ending. It all starts out with Heathcliff. Heathcliff is developed as a very dark, ominous character. His life starts with an awful childhood and he matures to be an angry man because of this. In order for him to release his anger and suffering, he feels he must inflict anger and suffering upon others so they can feel just as bad as him. There are numerous examples for this like when he beats Hindley, throws a knife and yells at Isabella, and her he even screams at Catherine before she dies. His need for revenge runs so strong, especially on Hindley and Edgar, he is insensitive to anyone’s feelings and becomes very malevolent. Heathcliff’s ultimate revenge goal, which he succeeded in, was acquiring both the Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange estates. Revenge is incorporated into the gothic theme because the vengeful characters in Wuthering Heights display an evil and dark spirit within themselves as people. They are not concerned with the morals of compassion, empathy, and forgiveness.
A big facet of Gothicism in literature involves death and...