Wuthering Heights

Cycles in Wuthering Heights 12th Grade

The natural cycles of the universe promote continuity through repetition. Emily Brontë had a very cyclical outlook on life, and uses these cycles throughout Wuthering Heights to exhibit this. The story itself comes full circle and death is a prominent cycle in the story. These two cycles hold extreme importance to the structure of the novel because they cause the reader to see the cynical views of Brontë’s life during the Victorian period.

From the beginning of the novel, life and death are the most important cycles in Wuthering Heights. Lockwood introduces the reader to the supernatural in the first few chapters. in a dream sequence he grapples with the ghost of Catherine Earnshaw. “Terror made me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled it’s wrist on the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro till the blood ran down,” (Brontë, 20). This brutality between the dead Cathy and Lockwood exhibits Brontë’s views how easily the veneer of civilization can be stripped away. To further her point the ghost moans, “I’ve been a waif for twenty years,” (Brontë, 21). The word waif, meaning orphan, has a significant connection to the lost souls of Heathcliff and Cathy throughout the book, and deepens the...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1049 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8154 literature essays, 2280 sample college application essays, 354 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