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Wuthering Heights

by Emily Brontë

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Is Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights a gothic novel?

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Emily Brontë's novel Wuthering Heights is a gothic novel because of its dark, isolated setting, exploration of intense human emotions, and supernatural elements.

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Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights is one of the most famous gothic novels ever written. Gothic literature tends to be set in dark, mysterious places, just liked the Earnshaw family estate, Wuthering Heights. Located in isolated, rocky moors, it is a dark place that has fallen into a dilapidated state. The word wuthering is used to refer to windy, stormy conditions, which adds to this eerie characterization of the setting.

The mysterious, bleak atmosphere of Wuthering Heights reflects the dark events and intense, violent emotions that fill the story. Gothic authors are interested in complicated human emotions, particularly surrounding death. Heathcliff’s feelings of sadness and anger after Catherine’s death and his desire for revenge are thus quite gothic.

Gothic literature also often contains supernatural elements, and this text is no exception. Recall how Lockwood seemingly encounters Catherine’s ghost when he first visits the estate or how Heathcliff tries to contact Catherine after she is dead. Brontë uses ghosts to explore the idea of the human spirit and how love is more powerful than death. In the end, Heathcliff starves himself in order to join Catherine. This dark event emphasizes the intensity of their connection and shows how love can be intertwined with complex feelings like pain and loneliness. Brontë’s exploration of such sad events and emotions is quintessentially gothic.

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