Describe how the weather relates to the events in Chapter 6 of Wuthering Heights.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Pathetic fallacy is a key element of this novel, but it is far more apparent in Chapter 9, where Heathcliff's rage and incipient anger is experienced as the storm that blows over the tree into Wuthering Heights, smashing one of its chimneys. In Chapter 6, which is when Heathcliff narrates how he and Cathy became introduced to the world of Thrushcross Grange and the Lintons, the only direct reference to the weather comes after Hindley, Nelly and the servants have been looking for Cathy and Heathcliff have been unable to find them and Hindley, in a rage, has ordered the house to be locked up until the morning. Note what Nelly Dean says next:

The household went to bed; and I, too anxious to lie down, opened my lattice and put my head out to hearken, though it rained, determined to admit them in spite of the prohibition, should they return.

In this quote the bad weather could be seen as representative of Hindley's anger at Cathy and Heathcliff's absence. Throughout this gothic text, weather is used by Bronte to mirror the emotions of the main characters, and it is seen as being essential to understand the strange, claustraphobic world of her novel and the Yorkshire Moors where it is set. Thus in Chapter 6, the rain helps the reader to identify the anger of Hindley at the disappearance of his younger sister and her companion.


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