Wuthering Heights Final Analysis

1532 words - 7 pages

The clouded mystery behind a novel’s meaning often makes the work more enjoyable to read. In Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights, there is a mysterious aura which defines every aspect of the story. When understanding the story, the reader cannot look at Weathering Heights simply as a home, but as a necessary and unshakable part of life for the main characters. Critics argue many different theories regarding Weathering Heights and what its central theme is supposed to be interpreted as. Although the critics hold different interpretations of the novel, they all agree on the simple fact that deceit and deception both hold key roles within the story. This is not solely seen in characters like ...view middle of the document...

In order to exact revenge for his lost love Catherine, Heathcliff devotes his life to deceive and take down anybody who got in his way, whether or not they played a role in the ruined relationship with his lover. When describing events in the novel through the unreliable narrators Nelly and Lockwood, Bronte purposefully and ingeniously leaves out certain details of events seemingly to frustrate the average reader of the novel. In their frustration, the reader may often make the mistake of formulating inaccurate theories about the absence of certain explanations. By doing this, the author effectively deceives the average reader and prevents them from understanding the intended ideas, themes, or relationships in the narrative. An example of this is seen towards the end of the novel when Bronte neglects to mention where Heathcliff walks at night in the days leading up to his death. This is seen in the novel when Nelly recanted:
Having uttered these words, he left the house, slowly sauntered down the garden path, and disappeared through the gate. The hours crept anxiously by: another evening came. I did not retire to rest until late, and when I did, I could not sleep. He returned after midnight, and, instead of going to bed, shut himself into the room beneath (253).
Nowhere in this explanation does Nelly attempt to uncover the mystery behind Heathcliff’s odd disappearance. Emily Bronte did not want the active reader to take the situation into their own imagination, but instead, purposefully surrounded the event with mystery in order to further describe the protagonist’s secrecy. A careful reader would interpret the situation in the way the author intended it to be. Part of Wuthering Heights’ brilliance is how Emily Bronte challenged her reader’s not to make any of their own presumptions of the work that would get in the way of its intended meaning.
Although critics fervently argue different theories regarding themes within Weathering Heights, the truth is that there is not just one single main idea. Emily Bronte highlights this about the mysterious manor through the narrator Nelly says: “You’ll judge as well as I can all these things; at least, you’ll think you will and that’s the same” (143). The author intended to combine multiple key thematic points within the novel knowing full well that she would be the only person with the capability to fully understand their combined significance. Deceit and deception are two of the most important recurring themes in the novel because they are always at the center of destroyed relationships in the characters’ world. The deceitful nature begins with the unravelling of Heathcliff and Catherine’s relationship and continues to fallout years after her death. Heathcliff resents nearly all attempts of love following his lover’s death and confides in his revengeful nature as his only safe haven. Love and unity serve as opposition to this Byronic hero’s deceptive, manipulative, and destructive way of life. J...

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