Day 8: Female Gothic: Wuthering Heights

Confession, before we start: I like Emily a lot better than Charlotte. And no, it’s not because of the name. I think Wuthering Heights is better than Jane Eyre, and definitely better than Villette. But we’ll talk about both of those shortly.

Wuthering Heights is an excellent example of female gothic, or of Gothic lit in general. Wuthering Heights (the titular house) is gloomy, for sure. Ghosts appear there (at least, to Lockwood, in the beginning), and by the end of the novel it’s certainly in disrepair. Heathcliff’s behavior is definitely scary, throughout much of the novel, as is the behavior of some of the other characters. The romance quotient is off the charts, even if it’s extremely dysfunctional. Cathy and Heathcliff’s love could have been something grand and good, except the personalities of the two prevented it from becoming that.

The story, like Frankenstein is a frame story.

I’m not sure if it’s really “female gothic”, even though it gets included in some of those lists. It’s more regular gothic, because Catherine isn’t trying to cast off male conventions/primacy–she’s just being Catherine, which, I think, means being difficult. She doesn’t marry Heathcliff almost out of spite, not because she really loves Linton. Thoughts on this?

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One thought on “Day 8: Female Gothic: Wuthering Heights

  1. Pingback: Books Everyone Needs to Read | Living Adventurously

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