What is the thesis statement of the essay The Waif at the Window: Emily Bronte's Feminine "Bildungsroman" by Annette R. Federico? 

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shakespeareguru eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You should always look for a thesis statement in the opening paragraph or Introduction of an essay.  This is where the writer should state the thesis.  All the following paragraphs (before the conclusion) should be used to support this statement.

In the essay you refer to, the thesis statement is quite long and involves some parenthetical statements.  It is:

In their study of nineteenth-century women writers, The Madwoman in the Attic, Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar argue persuasively that because the story of Wuthering Heights is built around a central fall—generally understood to be Catherine and Heathcliff's anti-Miltonic fall from hell to heaven—"a description of the novel as in part a Bildungsroman about a girl's passage from 'innocence' to 'experience' (leaving aside the precise meaning of these terms) would probably be widely accepted."

This whole paragraph is one sentence, the thesis statement.  If you have trouble getting to the meat of this statement, consult the essay description that is listed as a header to the essay.  It says:

In the following essay, Annette R. Federico maintains that Wuthering Heights is a bildungsroman—a novel which outlines the initiation of a young character into adulthood—focusing on the development of young Cathy Linton...

You should always try to discern the thesis statement in the opening paragraph, the Introduction, of any critical essay.

Read the study guide:
Wuthering Heights

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