Wuthering Heights Notes

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Wuthering Heights Notes


Emily BronteEmily Bronte was born July 30, 1818 Yorkshire, England Her father, Patrick Bronte had been educated at Cambridge rector of a church in the small town of Haworth married Maria Branwell, six children: Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne. In 1821 Maria Bronte died children were left much to themselves, spending much time reading and writing.


The children were educated at home most of the time. Emily (and some of the other girls) did spend some time at a girl’s school. Emily Bronte took a teaching position for a short time She became homesick and returned home. Emily and Charlotte also entertained plans to start a school In 1845 Charlotte found poems written by Emily and discovered, in fact, that she, Emily, and Anne all wrote poetry. In 1846 they published a volume of their poetry, but only two copies of the book were sold. The girls wrote under pseudonyms: Charlotte as Currer Bell, Emily as Ellis Bell, and Anne as Acton Bell.


In 1847 Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre was published and was extremely successful. Wuthering Heights was published in December, 1847, but was not well received at that time it was considered too savage and animal-like. Laterit was recognized as one of the finest novels in the English language. Soon after the publication of her only novel, Emily’s health failed; she died of tuberculosis in 1848.


Characteristics of Romanticism


Emphasis on emotion (a reaction to the emphasis on reason of the preceding period).


Glorification of the imagination: This group rejected the previous period’s treatment of man as a limited being restricted by reason, and therefore, bound by tradition. The imagination became equated with creativity as contrasted to the imitative process followed by the previous neoclassicists.


Emphasis on subjectivity and individuality: Romanticists believed that everyone was unique and different. This eventually led to an appreciation for introspection, reverie, and melancholy. The brooding, solitary dreamer became a popular literary figure.


Love, a preeminent theme: Romantic writers often wrote about love, but their vision of love was usually spiritual in nature. They believed that for every person, there was a perfect soulmate— the person in the world who provided his “other half” and made him a more complete person. Love, in other words, was a spiritual communion.


Worship of nature: Romanticists often set their poems or stories in the countryside and appreciated the rustic person who was close to nature and unspoiled by civilization. This cult of nature eventually led to the development of the theory of Pantheism, a theological belief that equates God with nature.


Idealism: This group believed that life could be made better and were often politically active in trying to bring about change, and many also believed that heaven could be found on earth—or nowhere.


Chapters 1-5


Notes Chapters 1-51. List details describing Heathcliff. 2. List details describing Lockwood. 3. Describe Wuthering Heights. 4. Identify: a. Mrs. Heathcliff b. Hareton c. Joseph d. Zillah e. Catherine 5. Setting: What is effect of the snowstorm? How does the snowstorm help to reveal characters? Symbolism of snowstorm???? 6. Narrators: a. b.


Quotes 1-5Wuthering Heights ch. 1-5 quotes Not anxious to come in contact with their fangs, I sat still; but, imagining they would scarcely understand tacit insults, I unfortunately indulged in winking and making faces at the trio, and some turn of my physiognomy so irritated madam, that she suddenly broke into a fury and leapt on my knees. I flung her back, and hastened to interpose the table between us….I was constrained to demand, aloud, assistance from some of the household, in reestablishing peace. Identify speaker; describe this scene. Her position before was sheltered from the light: now, I had a distinct view of her whole figure and countenance. She was slender, and apparently scarcely past girlhood: an admirable form, and the most exquisite little face that I have even had the pleasure of beholding: small features, very fair; flaxen ringlets, or rather golden, hanging loose on her delicate neck; and eyes—had they been agreeable in expression, they would have been irresistible—fortunately for my susceptible heart, the only sentiment they evinced hovered between scorn and a kind of desperation, singularly unnatural to be detected there.


Quotes 1-5Identify speaker; whom is speaker describing? This time, I remembered I was lying in the oak closet, and I heard distinctly the gusty wind, the driving of the snow; I heard, also the fir-bough repeat its teasing sound…..’I must stop it, nevertheless!’ I muttered, knocking my knuckles through the glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate branch: instead of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand!...’Let me in---let me in!’ Identify people; what is happening??? … putting her arms round his neck before we could hinder her. The poor thing discovered her loss directly—she screamed out—‘Oh, he’s dead, …. He’s dead!” And they both set up a heart-breaking cry. I joined my wail to theirs, loud and bitter,; but Joseph asked what we could be thinking of to roar in that way over a saint in heaven. Identify characters; what is the problem?


Chapters 6-9


Notes Chapter 6-91. When Cathy returns from the Lintons, what direct evidence do we get of her love for Heathcliff? 2. How does the hot applesauce incident and the dramatic aftermath show the love Catherine and Heathcliff have for each other? 3. How do we know Heathcliff loves Catherine? 4. In chapter 8 Cathy quarrels with Healthcliff and with Edgar. How does each quarrel reflect the emotional tension she is feeling as a result of her attachment to both of these men? 5. What reasons does Cathy give to Nelly for deciding to marry Edgar? What does Nelly think of the reasons? What conflict within Cathy causes her serious worry and unhappiness over her decision?


6-9 Continued6. What is the emotional effect of Cathy’s confessions upon the eavesdropper, Heathcliff? 7. Cathy’s “split” personality is the result of two deeply seated drives. What two strongly conflicting desires has Cathy so far revealed in the story? How does Heathcliff fulfill one of these? How does Edgar fulfill the other? 8. In what way has Cathy’s dream revealed her subconscious state of mind? 9. How can Cathy’s illness be explained on a physical basis? On a psychological basis as well? 10. What does Cathy mean when she says, “Nelly, I am Heathcliff”? 11. How does Cathy relate her love for Heathcliff to the concept of life after death? 12. How does Cathy explain her love for Heathcliff as the element in her life which serves as a connecting link to all the universe?


Quotes 6-91. “The devil had seized her ankle, Nelly; I heard his abominable snorting. She did not yell out ---no! She would have scorned to do it, if she had been spitted on the horns of a mad cow. I did, though, I vociferated curses enough to annihilate any fiend in Christendom, and I got a stone and thrust it between his jaws, and tried with all my might to cram it down his throat. A beast of a servant came up with a lantern, at last, shorting-- “Keep fast, Skulker, keep fast!” Identify “she” and “I”. What has happened? 2. Afterwards, they dried and combed her beautiful hair, and gave her a pair of enormous slippers, and wheeled her to the fire, and I left her, as merry as she could be dividing her food between the little dog and Skulker, who nose she pinched as she ate; …..I saw they were full of stupid admiration; she is so immeasurable superior to them—to everybody on earth; is she not, Nelly?” Identify “they” and “she”… What is happening and why? 3. “You needn’t have touched me!” he answered, following her eye and snatching away his hand. “I shall be as dirty as I please, and I like to be dirty, and I will be dirty.” Identify speaker. What is scene? 4. He ventured this remark without any intention to insult; but Heathcliff’s violent nature was not prepared to endure the appearance of impertinence from one whom he seemed to hate, even then, as a rival. He seized a tureen of hot apple sauce, the first thing that came under his gripe, and dashed it full against the speaker’s face and neck—who instantly commended a lament that brought Isabela and Catherine hurrying to the place. Why did Heathcliff throw the applesauce? Whom did he hit? Why? 5. He told his wife the same story, and she seemed to believe him; but one night, while leaning on his shoulder, in the act of saying she thought she should be able to get up tomorrow, a fit of coughing took her—a very slight one—he raised her in his arms; she put her two hands about his neck, her face changed, and she was dead. Who is “he”? Who is “she?” What had happened right before this?


6. “The crosses are for the evening you have spend with the Lintons, the dots for those spent with me. Do you see? I’ve marked every day.” “Yes—very foolish; as if I took notice!.....and where is the sense of that?” “To show that I do take notice…” Identify speakers. 7. “You’ve made me afraid, and ashamed of you,” he continued. “I’ll not come here again!” Her eyes began to glisten and her lids to twinkle. “And you told a deliberate untruth!” he said. “I didn’t!” she cried, recovering her speech. “I did nothing deliberately—“ “Well, go, if you please—get away! And not I’ll cry---I’ll cry myself sick!” She dropped down on her knees by a chair and set to weeping in serious earnest. Identify speakers. What caused this scene? 8. “Why do you love him, Miss Cathy?” “Nonsense, I do---that’s sufficient.” “By no means; you must say why.” “Well, because he is handsome, and pleasant to be with.” “Bad,” was my commentary. :And because he is young and cheerful.” “Bad, still.” “And because he loves me.” “Indifferent, coming there.” “And he will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighbourhood, and I shall be proud….” To whom is Cathy talking? About whom is Cathy talking? 9. “I wonder where he is---I wonder where he can be! What did I say, Nelly? I’ve forgotten. Was he vexed at my bad humour this afternoon? Dear! Tell me what I’ve said to grieve him: I do wish he’d come. I do wish he would!” Identify speaker and “he.” What had she said to “grieve him?”


Hindley comes home for funeral with wife. She cries to Nellie about fear of black and dying; she seems delicate in health. Hindley has grown thin. Wife is excited at first then grows peevish. Hindley grows tyrannical. She did not like Heathcliff; Hindley drives Heathcliff away. Catherine teaches Heathcliff then; they love to play in moors. Hindley locks Catherine and Heathcliff out of house at night. Heathcliff returns without Catherine; she’s at Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff tells about going to Lintons, looking in on Edgar and Isabella. Catherine falls and hurts ankle; they let dogs loose; servant carries Catherine inside. Lintons thought they were robbers. Heathcliff describes looking in window at Catherine’s treatment. Nellie scolds him. Mr. Linton comes next day to lecture Heathcliff. Heathcliff threatened with dismissal if he continues to see Catherine.


Chapters 10-12


What did Heathcliff do and how did he change during these three years? What is Linton’s attitude towards Heathcliff? What had Heathcliff originally planned to do immediately upon his return? Why? Why didn’t he do so? Where is Heathcliff staying now? Why do you suppose he is doing this? What happens to Isabella? What does Cathy tell Isabella about Heathcliff? Does this seem odd coming from Catherine? Explain. What does Heathcliff ask Cathy about Isabella? What is the significance of this question? (What is Heathcliff planning to do?) In chapter 11 what is Heathcliff doing to Hareton?


About what do Cathy and Heathcliff argue? What happens between Heathcliff and Edgar? What does Cathy threaten to do if she can’t see Heathcliff? What choice does Edgar demand Cathy make? What is her reaction? What does Edgar tell Isabella? In chapter 12 what does Nelly think of Cathy’s illness? What does Cathy imagine herself saying to Heathcliff? On her way to get the doctor, what does Nelly find? Who probably did this? Why? (What early episode concerned a pet dog?) Where has Isabella gone? What is Edgar’s reaction?


1. “I have waited here an hour,” he resumed, while I continued staring; “and the whole of that time all round has been as still as death. I dared not enter. You do not know me? Look, I’m not a stranger!” A ray fell on his features; the cheeks were sallow, and half covered with black whiskers; the brows lowering, the eyes deep set and singular. I remember the eyes. Identify speaker. To whom is he speaking? What is scene? 2. “We were quarrelling like cats about you….and I was fairly beaten in protestations of devotion and admiration; and, moreover, I was informed that if I would but have the manners to stand aside, my rival, as she will have herself to be, would shoot a shaft into your soul that would fix you for ever, and send my image into eternal oblivion!” Identify “we” and “you”. What has been happening?


3. “I’d wrench them off her fingers, if they ever menaced me,” he answered, brutally, when the door had closed after her. “But what did you mean by teasing the creature in that manner….you were not speaking the truth, were you?” “I assure you I was,” she returned. “She has been pining for your sake several weeks; and raving about you this morning….” Identify two speakers. About whom are they talking? 4. He raised his missile to hurl it; I commenced a soothing speech, but could not stay the hand. The stone struck my bonnet, and then ensued, from the stammering lips of the little fellow, a string of curses which, whether he comprehended them or not, were delivered with a practiced emphasis, and distorted his baby features into a shocking expression of malignity. Identify “he” and “I”. What is importance of this scene?

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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