Example Of Literature Review On World Literature
Wuthering Heights Novel Review
Wuthering Heights is a novel that describes the vengeance by following the life of Heathcliff. Heathcliffe is adopted into a wealthy family and this novel scrutinizes his life from childhood till the time of his death. The book delves into several shades of Heathcliff’s life to trace the time when he is reduced to serve other household members and leaves the house when his love of life forsakes him to marry someone else. The manner in which Heathcliff returns educated and rich to seek vengeance on both families responsible for ruining his life has been aptly described in this novel.
The manner in which Catherine and Heathcliff is reunited hours before Catherine expires after giving birth forms the climax of this novel. The irony depicted in this novel is the manner in which Heathcliff flees with Isabella just one day after the funeral of Catherine. This depicts, the intense hatred of Heathcliff towards both families and foretells the upcoming ruin of Wuthering Heights.
“No, God won’t have the satisfaction that I shall”
This is one of the famous quotes used by Heathcliff and it refers to his plan to seek revenge on Hildon. A probable interpretation of this sentence is the transition of Heathcliff from an orphan reduced to servitude to that of a tyrant. The association of Heathcliff to be a protagonist as well as an antagonist in this novel is portrayed by this quote. This quote also helps the reader to understand that revenge reigns supreme in Heathcliff’s life and for this he has decided to abandon ethical boundaries and religious faith.
“It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am”.
Catherine agrees to marry Edger and marks the change in the plot from a romantic novel to that of a revenge story. After Heathcliff hears the word “degrade”, he decides to leave Wuthering Heights. The decision of Catherine to marry Edger also signifies the importance attached to social considerations in those times.
“If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn't love as much in eighty years as I could in a day”.
This quote signifies Heathcliff’s love towards Catherine. Nelly is scared by observing Heathcliff’s commitment and passion and finally agrees to take Heathcliff’s letter to Catherine. At the same time, this quote also depicts Heathcliff’s character to be both cruel, brutal and at the same time manipulative and intelligent. This is the manner by which Heathcliff pursues Nelly to abide his bidding. Heathcliff’s bitterness towards life after Catherine’s demise is also reflected in this sentence.
The setting of Wuthering Heights is one of alienation and desolation. The manor is set to exist in the Yorkshire moors and the association of Heathcliff with Liverpool, a faraway city suggests shades of American Revolution. A significant feature in this novel is the weather as this novel often describes the landscape to be forbidding and pitiless to showcase the main theme of this novel. The manner in which Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights are opposed suggests the difference in social class, estrangement, property and family. Thrushcross Grange is inviting and bright whereas Wuthering Heights is cold and dark and there exists a class difference between these two households. The author has vividly described both houses and the manner in which characters get lost while traversing between these two households. The reader has to understand that Catherine is contented when she is accepted in Thrushcross Grange as this helps her to acquire a higher social status. The supremacy of social class over love has been showcased to be one of the main themes of this novel and in sync with the difference in social class, the novel has vividly sketched the setting of both households.
The novel has used symbolism and imagery. One of the main symbols is Catherine’s oak-panelled bed. This bed is symbolized to reunite Heathcliff with Catherine as he dies in her bed. This bed is also considered by Lockwood a place of retreat, security and protection as he tried to hide from the vigilant Heathcliff. Another significant symbolism used in this novel is the moors, weather and nature. The author vividly presents the setting of Wuthering Heights to be related with nature. The moors is confusing to Lockwood and at the same time offers him solace from the forbidding atmosphere in Wuthering Heights. The moors is a symbol of liberation and the supernatural to Catherine and Heathcliff. Another vivid symbolism is the description of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. Wuthering Heights is devoid of several domestic comfort by depicting an atmosphere of alienation and desolation. Thrushcross Grange is bright and inviting and depicts propriety, cultivation, social class and refinement. The location of both houses, Wuthering Heights on a hilltop and Thrushcross Grange on the valley signifies the ongoing storm in Wuthering Heights and the peace and calmness in Thrushcross Grange.
The novel opens with Lockwood’s struggle to get into Wuthering Heights. Barking dogs, forbidding landlord and locked gates are some of the symbols used by the author to signify the manner in which Heathcliff constantly keeps vigil on Lockwood. The mansion signifies a forbidding place to Lockwood and he gets peace by escaping into the moors. This is a significance of evil reigning in this house.
Hareton wins back Wuthering Heights and this is signified by his nameplate on the threshold. Moreover Hareton’s impending marriage with Catherine also signifies the reunion of both households. The closing scene is when Lockwood passes through the graves of Heathcliff, Edger and Catherine. The death of Heathcliff is the suggestion of the death of evil and hence the peaceful reunion of both households. The constant conflict depicted in this novel finally ends by Heathcliff’s death and peace reigns in both households.
One of the major theme in this novel is the depiction of social class. The British social class comprised of the royalty, the aristocrats, the gentry and the lower class. Both families depicted the gentry and held a fragile social position. This is because the gentry did not hold any titles and hence their social position was subject to transition. The desire to marry Edger reflects Catherine’s desire to be associated with a higher social class. This is because the Lintons have a firmer social class as compared with the Earnshaws. The author has vividly displayed opposite settings of both households to match the precariousness in social class.
Another significant theme in Wuthering Heights is the tumultuous love between Heathcliff and Catherine. While narrating Heathcliff’s and Catherine’s love story, Nelly criticizes both and condemns their love to be immoral. However, this love is the sole source of conflict and revenge that forms the central plot of the novel. The parallel love stories of Catherine and Heathcliff with that of Hareton and Catherine also signifies the destructive as well as peaceful consequence of love and passion. The love of Catherine and Heathcliff brought about downfall and destruction and the marriage of Catherine and Hareton brought about reunion and peace between both families.
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. 1847. London: Penguin, 1985. Print.