4 April 2018
Wuthering Heights Stylistic Analysis
Bronte uses figures of speech, metafictional techniques, and point of view to display the effectiveness of her characterization. In doing so, she illustrates the parallel of both Catherine Linton and Catherine Earnshaw demonstrating how although very different, their lives are connected. By doing this, it allows a window to see whether the style elements she chose are effective in displaying the literary device and the overall message. It makes it so the overall message that women must break gender roles to make things better for themselves and get treated with more respect, like they deserve. Furthermore, Bronte chooses Nelly to be the person that point of view is told from because she will show the struggles both women had to go through to gain the respect that they wanted, Nelly won’t hide anything that these women were put through or what they did to get there. Bronte also used Wuthering Heights as a parallel to her own life as a child. She uses lots of symbols to hint at her own life by doing these things a reader can make a connection and assume that her life was very similar to the life of the characters in Wuthering Heights.
In Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte uses point of view to further develop characterization by telling the story from Nelly Deans view. When anything is told from one point of view it can be viewed how a character is from a constant perspective of a person, therefore what’s written is all they get. Bronte allows only one point of view because first Nelly is a woman and it builds the theme of women breaking gender roles to gain respect. Bronte could have made this a male’s point of view and kept the theme making the story somewhat the same. Although the problem with that is telling is from the perspective of a male could have made the Catherine’s out to be bad women and as if they were not acting as they should. By having another woman tell it both Catherine’s are displayed as doing these things for a positive outcome. They are not seen as two horrible people but instead women who want the same respect as a male gets, like they deserve. Also, Nelly is an okay due to her staying in the gender norms and being where she is because she didn’t go out and try to demand more. Unlike Nelly both Catherine’s can get things that normally wouldn’t be allowed because of their fire personalities. While some might not think it is good that she stays with one viewpoint being that she will make all the characters seem well behaved and have better manners than they are. There is no fair viewpoint when only one person is telling the story especially because Nelly is a mother figure to almost all of them. ‘…and though I’m hardly a judge, I think that’s the worst motive you’ve given yet for being the wife of young Linton.’ Here Nelly knows that Catherine is making the choice of being with Linton for all the wrong reason, but she doesn’t seem to make a huge fuss about it. This also ties along with the theme because Catherine is going to marry Linton to help bring Heathcliff’s status up showing that a woman is the reason for a man’s success. Even when Heathcliff does something horrific, Nelly waters it down; she does not come out open and honest. This is because she does not want to make her own children look bad no matter how horrible they may act, or how they treat her. Through this happening we are not able to really have our own opinions besides what she tells us. Both Catherine’s could be an awful person if the story was told through another point of view. The way Nelly tells it is as if she was inside of it all happening but also as if she just sat back and watched everything unfold. Her not being as involved as the other characters gives us a point of view from outside the circle. Emily Bronte does not want the readers to favor or hate specific feelings instead she wants us to feel mixed emotions towards them and understand that they are not one thing instead they are multiple personalities which can make them great. This theory works in favor with the theme of the story. This would be because both Catherine’s throughout the story are doing things that might cause most people to hate them but because of Nelly not bad talking them it is understood that they are doing these things for all the right reasons. Telling the story from Nelly’s perspective is effective in the sense that the whole inside is told, and everything is put out in the open that normally might have remained hidden. Nelly also did not slam any characters she told it how it was without making it seem like they were the most horrible people, allowing readers to develop a bond and connection with each character individually.
Emily Bronte uses metafictional technique in a very subtle way. She throws out her own thoughts and inputs them into the story starting from the very beginning of the book. Throughout the story we see that every time a female becomes a mother she dies not to late after that. Since every mother dies shortly after giving birth one would assume there is more men in the story. Being that is true both Catherine’s must fight against these men showing them that they are not just some puppet and that they are going to do whatever is takes to get that respect. Growing up Emily Bronte did not have her own mother, so it is obvious that the is trying to communicate that to us by having every mother die. The whole book is a symbol for her life. She is trying to tell us something without being blunt. Emily Bronte had lived in the moors when she was younger which could have been the main influence upon her setting. It is very eerie in the book there is not a lot of happy things going on. This would be because Bronte as a child did not really have a happy childhood, she was always surrounded by somebody dying or the weather just put everyone in a bad mood because how dark it was, and we see this in Wuthering Heights. The author calls to attention what she is doing when she has Heathcliff make Hareton become a servant. When she does this, it is to demonstrate how Heathcliff is trying to get his revenge without making it too obvious. Another thing she does without coming right out and saying it is both Catherine’s are trying to break the gender roles in theirs story. They are trying to show that woman do not have to follow what a man thinks, and they do so by acting out and rebelling like we’ve seen in the story. A reader might say that the Catherine’s are doing much but instead they are being problematic and causing trouble for everyone around them, that is the opposite of what they are doing. These are the only two women besides Nelly, so they must do something to be heard or else they would just get walked all over by the men in the story. For example, “You shouldn’t grudge a few yards of earth for me to ornament, when you have taken all my land…” “And my money…” (Bronte pdf 511) It was a shock to everyone that a woman finally told a man that she has had enough, and she was not going to let him push her and Hareton around any longer. By doing this she is calling attention that in the story social classes and gender roles will in a way be broken by woman when they are pushed enough. This method is both effective and ineffective in thw way it is used. This is so she does well in bringing out the theme that women try and break gender roles making things better for themselves and get treated with more respect like they deserve. She says how she is demonstrating this and shows it with the first Catherine when she marries Linton. Although it is ineffective in the sense that she does it so often and readers lose track in what she is saying.
Bronte also uses figure of speech in Wuthering Heights. By using figure of speech different things are portrayed. She could purposely be leaving clues that she wants readers to find or maybe even just emphasizing certain things that she thinks is important to know. When bronte refers to both the Catherine’s she speaks of their fire personalities are how they are never happy. When she says they are never happy she is clearly exaggerating and by the fire personalities it means that they are constantly mad or doing something that they should not. (quote here) She does this because it brings to life what she wants to say and brings it to the light calling attention. Figures of speech is a way for Bronte to “spice” up her writing. It brings more attention to it and it draws in the readers because it makes it interesting, it is never known what is going to happen next which makes the reader want to continue to read Wuthering Heights. Even though it does do all these good things for the story it also does bad things to it. For example, she may use it so often or even too much in one area that is can throw the readers off causing them to be confused. She could lose her audience attention because of the misunderstanding they are having. By having figures of speech, we see how much both Catherine’s are alike, and it also allows the readers to see how they are breaking gender roles. It does so because we see that these two women really had to fight for their part if they wanted anything they couldn’t just ask for it. They were pushed to the side if they allowed it and these two were not going to have that. Without figures of speech readers wouldn’t understand that the Catherine’s
In the end all these things can bring what Bronte is saying about the piece together. All these different elements bring something different to Wuthering Heights, it helps develop the piece. Whether is does something good or bad there is still an effort being made. The most effective thing that she does would be the point of view that she chose to tell Wuthering Heights from. The figures of speech are also able to tie the story together in a good way because we get good comparisons of both the Catherine’s. It opens our minds and how we can see the as people and even how others see them based on their looks, personality, wealth etc. When it comes to the metafictional technique I do not believe that it was very effective for many different reasons. Although I do believe what it did was still good, it just may have not been very easy to analyze when that was happening. Even though it was a bit hard the connections between the book and her actual life were made. The stylistic elements better helped in understanding Wuthering Heights by allowing to understand why she wrote what was in the book and made is simpler.