Wuthering Heights Questions and Answers
by Emily Brontë

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What are the Gothic elements in Wuthering Heights?

Wuthering Heights has many of the qualities of the Gothic, including extreme settings, violent emotions, a dark, scheming hero, and elements of the supernatural.

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There are many Gothic elements to Wuthering Heights. These include the following:

Setting: the Gothic genre is known for settings that are wild, forbiddingly beautiful, and isolated. Wuthering Heights uses the moors as this kind of Gothic setting. Gothic buildings are ancient, mysterious, and foreboding. Wuthering Heights, the house, fits this description as well, a remote outpost that often serves as a kind of prison.

The supernatural: Gothic stories often have to do with supernatural events or creatureism, hence the book's use of the theme of "haunting" and the idea of Cathy's ghost haunting Heathcliff.

Extreme emotion: Heathcliff and Cathy's love is described as being beyond normal human relations and enduring even after death. Heathcliff's hatred toward Linton, his revenge against Hindley, and his treatment of Isabella and his own son all show his extreme emotions.

The Gothic hero: Heathcliff functions as a Gothic hero in that he is dark, mysterious (his origin and how he becomes rich is...

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emsteph | Student

Gothic fiction largely concerns itself with evoking terror and dread via atmosphere and themes related to death, the past, imprisonment, and the supernatural. Wuthering Heights fits easily into this tradition as it can easily be categorized as a ghost story, not only because actual apparitions appear (though the reality of the ghosts is up for debate), but because the novel's characters are haunted by past events and tragedies.

The setting is also decidedly gothic: Wuthering Heights itself is an old house dating back to the sixteenth century and the moors which Catherine and Heathcliff love to spend their time on are wild, untamed territory. Gothic literature thrives on settings which display decay (such as Wuthering Heights itself and the churchyard where Heathcliff digs up Catherine's coffin) or the untamed splendor of the natural world (such as the moors).

Lastly, gothic fiction is concerned with heightened emotional states, such as passion and madness, sometimes equating the two. Catherine and Heathcliff's relationship is one of passionate love. This love motivates them to do dangerous, seemingly irrational things, such as when Catherine locks herself in her room for days or when Heathcliff starves baby birds to get Catherine's attention.

abhisek | Student
  • In true gothic fashion boundaries are trespassed, specifically love crossing the boundary between life and death.Bronte incorporated the gothic elements like imprisonment and escape, flight . the persecuted heroine, ghost ,necrophilia, revenge. The weather buffeted Wuthering Heights represent the Gothic castle and like the conventional gothic hero -villain, Heathcliff is a mysterious figure who destroys the beautiful woman he pursues and usurps inheritances.