How can I connect Wuthering Heights to the Victorian era?

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Wuthering Heights is both of its time and sui generis—one of a kind. It is quite different in tone from the novels of Dickens, for instance, and of most Victorians, including other women authors such as Emily Brontë's sister Charlotte and George Eliot. Yet as unusual as it is, there is something about it that corresponds to the Victorian zeitgeist and that perhaps expresses the deepest imaginings of the period more forcefully than the more "conventional" novels of the time are able to.

The story is one of obsession, largely sexual obsession. Conventional wisdom about the nineteenth century is that it was an age when people were sexually repressed, disallowed from talking or writing openly about sensitive matters. This is, of course, mostly true, but it's also the reason that taboo subjects became a kind of interior obsession that found their outlet in the disturbing subtexts of various works. It is almost as if the inability to deal with any real openness about certain things caused...

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 3, 2020
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