Wuthering Heights

Establishing the Theme of "Otherness" in the Opening Chapters of 'Wuthering Heights' 11th Grade

The theme of ‘otherness’ is prominent throughout the opening chapters of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Otherness can be interpreted as the exclusion of one party or the act of being dissimilar. This being the case, the opposite to this would be the inclusion of all parties, which, although seen far less frequently, is present in the opening. Brontë demonstrates this theme in a myriad of ways but especially focuses on Lockwood’s omission from Wuthering Heights as he can be seen as the epitome of otherness. In saying this, she also uses means such as the description of Yorkshire itself and the remaining characters to accentuate the theme of otherness and segregation.

The novel begins with negative imagery which alludes to the unwelcoming nature of Wuthering Heights: “gaunt” and “stunted”. By creating a sense of hostility in reference to the heights, Austen is emphasising Lockwood’s isolation and remoteness, which can be seen in the line “”I began to feel unmistakably out of place in that pleasant family circle.”, whilst also distancing the reader and making them feel like a foreigner; this immediately accentuates the theme of otherness at the very beginning and separates the characters, and the reader, from each other....

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