"Wuthering Heights" By Emily Bronte: How Has Your Understanding Of Chapters 1 3 Been Shaped By Approaches That Focus On Class, Gender And Genre?

1829 words - 7 pages

Chapters 1-3 are depicted through the eyes of Lockwood, who is portrayed as a gentleman of proper society. His social position is established early on in chapters 1 and 2 and the reader's attention is drawn to the fact that Lockwood is much more at ease in society through such quotes as "I (Lockwood) do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stirs of society" which shows that Lockwood is unused to living in the country but is more use to the constraints and comfort of society. Lockwood's status as that of a gentleman is established early on and because of this, he judges his surroundings by social ideas. He is shown as an unreliable narrator through his frequent and incorrect assumptions that he imposes on the characters that he encounters. Many of the assumptions that Lockwood makes are based on appearance and this is because appearance places a major role in society. The assumptions that Lockwood makes are based around society's views and thus Lockwood deems that these views are the model and the proper and respectable way. Bronte is using Lockwood's assumptions to comment on the inadequacy of society's rules.The opening of chapter one opens with Lockwood's first assumption on Heathcliff. Lockwood states that "Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us. A capital fellow! He little imagines how my heart warmed towards him". His first impression of Heathcliff is shown as both inadequate and false as Heathcliff is later shown as quite the opposite. It is only in chapter 2 that Lockwood realizes his mistake in judging Heathcliff's personality so quickly. Lockwood says "the tone in which the words were said revealed a genuine bad nature. I no longer felt inclined to call Heathcliff a capital fellow". Lockwood doesn't realise the wrong he is doing by making quick and hasty assumptions which are often revealed later on to be false.Chapter 1 also sets the scene of Wuthering Heights which is shown to be like an old fashioned farm house. The gothic genre is emphasized through the description of Wuthering Heights as many of Wuthering Height's attributes conform to the conventional characteristics of the gothic genre. Wuthering Heights is exposed to "stormy weather" and is on a "bleak hill-top" where "the earth was hard with a black frost". The nature around it is described as "stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun" which gives the reader an impression of bleakness and a suggestion of stunted growth. The house itself gives the impression of a working farm house where although there is no refinement there is a sense of comfort. However there is also a suggestion of harshness and violence in this scene which is shown through such descriptions as "two heave black ones lurking in the shade" and "sundry villainous old guns". Wuthering Heights is shown to be a working farm with the dogs...

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