Wuthering Heights Questions and Answers
by Emily Brontë

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What elements of the gothic and the romantic are evident in "Wuthering Heights"?

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In addition to the elements already mentioned, there are other elements of the Gothic and Dark Romanticism in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights:

  • Bleak, foreboding environments

In the opening chapter, the narrator describes Heathcliff's house, Wuthering Heights, explaining that the adjective wuthering describes "the atmospheric tumult" of its physical location, for there are high winds and stormy weather. Also, over the doorway of the house Lockwood notices a "grotesque carving."

--The desolate and wild moors are set against the drama of the families. When Heathcliff imprisons Nelly and Cathy at Wuthering Heights in Chapter 28, he goes to Gimmerton and creates the rumor that the two women "sunk in the Blackhorse marsh" and that he rescued them.

--When Mr. Lockwood arrives...

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Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" is a fine instance of a Victorian  'female gothic' novel which features women entrapped within the confines of their domestic space and victimised by patriarchal bullying. Some important features of the gothic are:

1.The architecture: ancient dilapidated houses, "before passing the threshold...the date 1500." Ch1. These houses are usually haunted by ghosts. In Ch3 Lockwood encounters the ghost of Catherine.

2. Ghosts: In Ch.34 "a little boy with a sheep and two lambs" sees the ghosts of Catherine and Heathcliff.

3. Death and decay: In Ch29 Heathcliff disturbs the grave of Catherine and in Ch34 he is buried alongside Catherine so that their decaying bodies can become one.

4. Madness: Both Catherine and Heathcliff are hysterical and almost insane before their deaths, Chs15 and 33 and 34.

5. Hereditary curses: Heathcliff's adoption is referred to as, "so from the very beginning he bred bad feeling in the house."

6. Tyrants:  First Hindley and then Heathcliff exercise their authority over the household of Wuthering Heights.

7. Persecuted maidens: Both the Catherines and Isabella are treated cruelly.

By way of contrast, the elements of romance are:

1. Love for Nature: The novel is full of the beauty  of moors of Yorkshire.

2. Egoistical: All the characters are egoistical and fiercely independent.

3. Love and its concurrent dilemmas: Catherine in love with two men at the same time.