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Wuthering Heights

by Emily Brontë

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So, you’re going to teach Wuthering Heights, a mainstay of English classrooms and Emily Brontë’s most iconic work. Whether it’s your first or hundredth time guiding students through the novel, this teaching guide will ensure a rewarding experience for everyone—including you. It will expose students to the rhetorical power of literary devices like allusion and foil. Students can also engage with important themes, such as gender roles and nature versus civilization. This guide highlights the text's most salient aspects to keep in mind before you begin teaching.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Publication Date: 1847 
  • Recommended Grade Level: 10 and up 
  • Approximate Word Count: 108,000 
  • Author: Emily Brontë 
  • Country of Origin: England 
  • Genre: Gothic Fiction 
  • Literary Period: Victorian 
  • Conflict: Person vs. Person, Person vs. Self 
  • Narration: First-Person 
  • Setting: Yorkshire, England in the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries 
  • Structure: Prose Novel 
  • Mood: Dark, Melodramatic, Introspective

Texts That Go Well With Wuthering Heights

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë’s older sister: Like Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre (1847) is a gothic novel that features moody, wild landscapes and supernatural elements in order to emphasize key themes. Furthermore, like Heathcliff, Mr. Rochester— Jane’s love interest—is a Byronic hero. 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Though it was written before the Victorian era, Frankenstein (1818) was one of the earlier British gothic texts that would influence the Victorian gothic movement later on. Similar to Wuthering Heights, Frankenstein features taboo subject matter, supernatural forces, and a mysterious and passionate Byronic hero. 

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Similar to Wuthering Heights’s portrayal of Heathcliff’s rise to power, Great Expectations (1861) follows an orphan named Pip from his humble beginnings as a blacksmith’s apprentice until he rises to the rank of a privileged gentleman with a mysterious inheritance. 

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde: In The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), the young and beautiful Dorian Gray is immortalized in an oil painting that, in return for his soul, begins to age in place of him—while recording all of his hedonistic sins. Though Dorian is not a moody, Byronic hero like Heathcliff, his narcissism destroys him similarly to how Heathcliff’s pride affects him. 

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy: The Return of the Native (1878) follows the unfortunate love triangle between Eustacia Vye, Damon Wildeve, Thomasin Yeobright, and Clym Yeobright. Like Wuthering Heights, The Return of the Native explores humanity’s relationship to the natural world and features a villain—Damon Wildeve—whose selfishness, like Heathcliff’s, leads to broken hearts and death.

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Key Plot Points