Wuthering Heights

The Presentation of Masculinity in Winter's Bone and Wuthering Heights College

In her essay "Dispelling the Myth of Strong Female Characters," Megan Leigh deconstructs the phrase “strong female character”, and argues that it is too often a positive attachment given to two-dimensional female characters. The stereotypical female in literature is emotionally vulnerable, caring and weak, “while the strong woman is aggressive, abrasive, violent and has difficulty connecting emotionally with others”. When critics call for more “strong female characters”, what they really are calling for, Leigh says, is a masculine warrior stereotype in the form of a female character, or as she calls it, the “shedding of femininity” . Superficial readings of both Winter’s Bone and Wuthering Heights often come to the comparison that the female protagonists of the novel are “strong female characters”. This is often the case with modern feminist readings of many texts, as too often, female characters are considered “strong” due to their tendency towards traditionally masculine traits. In this essay, I hope to explore the presentation of masculinity in both texts, as well as examining the “strong female characters” within Wuthering Heights and Winter’s Bone.

Most critics of Wuthering Heights agree that Bronte’s intention was to...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1049 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8155 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