Wuthering Heights

The New Gnosticism: Reading Romantics in Wuthering Heights

The New Gnosticism:

Reading Romantics in Wuthering Heights

Like the romantic poets who so influenced her, Emily Bronte explores the redefining of religious categories in her most famous novel, Wuthering Heights. Through the relations between her main characters, Catherine, Heathcliff and Edgar, Bronte displaces traditional secular attitudes into a natural, personal and erotic context. The result is a romantic representation of something like an earthly heaven and hell. One of the main mechanisms the reader can use to observe this dichotomy is the use of descriptive landscape and architecture.

Wuthering Heights is characterized as a sort of castle on a hill. The landscape contains "a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way as if craving the alms of the sun" (4).

The quantity and variation of decoration is bare, and that unneeded comforts are sparse. The type of plants chosen to inhabit the yard are very telling as well: "stunted firs," symbolizing an unnourishing environment, and "gaunt thorns," meaning hidden dangers, give a dark and gothic image.

The home is quite exposed to the natural elements, namely wind- a force so powerful and...

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