Modern literature experts have wrestled with the issue of Wuthering Heights genre for years. It points to the fact that the novel is more multifaceted than our mind can embrace. The more reason why we should explore its cultural background. This Wuthering Heights Study Guide leads the way to the correct answers to the most complicated questions about the book.
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Wuthering Heights Key Facts
|Full Title||Wuthering Heights|
|Genre||Gothic novel, revenge tragedy|
|Date of Publishing||December 1847|
|Setting (Time)||1770s – 1802|
|Setting (Place)||Pennine moorland in West Yorkshire|
Wuthering Heights Articles
This article contains all you need to know about the summary of Wuthering Heights: a timeline, a synopsis, and a detailed description of the events by chapters.
This article contains all the information about the characters in Wuthering Heights: Heathcliff, Catherine Earnshaw, Isabella Linton, Nelly Dean, and others. In the first section, you’ll find a Wuthering Heights family tree.
This article provides a full analysis of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. The book is full of gothic symbolism and tragedy. The story of revenge and self-destruction is good by itself, without any explanations.
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Wuthering Heights Historical Context
Wuthering Heights is a novel set in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, which was a time of great social change. The Industrial Revolution was underway, and the British Empire was expanding rapidly. The novel explores what life in England was like during this time period.
The novel starts in the 1770s, just when slavery was abolished in the UK. In 1772, the English Court of King’s Bench made the judgment on Somersett’s case. Lord Mansfield decided that the enslaved person should not be sent to Jamaica for sale. It was a victory for black and white Londoners. In addition, the book culminates during the French Revolutionary Wars (1792 — 1802).
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Wuthering Heights is set in historical times: Emily Brontë wrote it half a century later to the described period. Although the novel does not directly discuss the events mentioned above, the rebellious atmosphere is visible in the general atmosphere.
Brontë lived in the Victorian age when the traditional perception of social classes was changing. Britain was in the lead of the Industrial revolution (1760 — 1830), forbidding the export of its skilled workers, machinery, and manufacturing technologies. The middle class became more influential and numerous, but landowners and the nonworking upper class preferred to stick to the “old ways.” They still had enough money to keep servants whom they treated as the lower class.
Landowners such as Earnshaws and Lintons tried to marry their equals. The marriage between Isabella Linton and Heathcliff could finish with a scandal or exile. In this view, Heathcliff’s vengeance is unsurprising. He purchased the Lintons’ property to make them walk a mile in his shoes.
Ownership and inheritance laws for women were the same in Wuthering Heights and during the author’s life. Husbands controlled all the belongings of their wives, and divorces were unthinkable.
This background information helps us understand why the characters are the hostages of circumstances rather than evil or immoral people.