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When do the descriptions of the English countryside, a common element of Romanticism...

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tempaccount2 | Honors

Posted May 19, 2013 at 6:29 PM via iOS

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When do the descriptions of the English countryside, a common element of Romanticism literature, become prominent in Chapter XXIV of Wuthering Heights?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 20, 2013 at 7:06 AM (Answer #1)

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In Charlotte Bronte's Romantic tale, the wuthering heights, as described by Mr. Lockwood, become an elemental force, a Gothic force as it is associated with preternatural states. In Chapter I, for instance, Mr.Lockwood describes this area, 

Wuthering Heights is the name of Mr. Heathcliff's dwelling. “Wuthering” being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult.... Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed: one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the excessive slant of a few 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.

In Chapter XXIV, the descriptions of the countryside become prominent as Cathy confesses to Nelly that she has been with Linton on the moors. The parallels between her and Linton and Catherine and Heathcliff are odd, and their love of the moor is equally strange as she and Linton are happy on the wuthering heights. In a moment that is particularly Romantic as the pair are imbued with the warmth of the mood--"the whole world is awake and wild with Joy...."--Cathy describes to Nellie her afternoon with Linton. Without realizing it, her descriptions of nature match Catherine's state of mind as do those of Linton's, and as they have so often with the previous generation of Catherine and Heathcliff.

He wanted all to lie in an ecstasy of peace; I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee. I said his heaven would be only half alive; and he said mine would be drunk: I said I should fall asleep in his; and he said he could not breathe in mine, and began to grow very snappish.

At last, they agreed to try both worlds, as soon as the right weather comes; and then they kiss each other and are friends.

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