Wuthering Heights

The Notion of the Foreign Invader and Other Gothic Elements in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights College

The popularity of gothic fiction varied in Victorian England. During the Romantic period Horace Walpole published The Castle of Otranto (1764), which is often considered the first gothic horror story. Many more stories followed but the popularity of the genre initially decreased in the Victorian era because the historical Romance novel became popular. In the 1880’s and 1890’s however, gothic fiction experienced a sudden surge of popularity due to the work of Edgar Allen Poe. Many stories that are today considered to be highly influential words of literature were written during that period. Among the books that became very popular again was Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Although Wuthering Heights is not just a gothic novel it certainly incorporates many gothic elements such as the supernatural, monstrosity, the notion of the foreign invader and the ancestral curse.

In gothic fiction there is usually a passion-driven, wilful villain. In Wuthering Heights this role is fulfilled by Heathcliff. Lockwood sees Heathcliff overcome by emotion when he thinks Catherine has come back to him: “He got on to the bed, and wrenched open the lattice, bursting, as he pulled at it, into an uncontrollable passion of tears. ‘Come in! come in!’...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 725 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4216 literature essays, 1406 sample college application essays, 171 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in