Wuthering Heights Essays

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Wuthering Heights Essays: Sample

In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, imagery is an important theme. There are many references toward nature however, the images of locked doors, windows and gates play a key role throughout the novel. They're symbols of escape and longing, which are only a few steps away. However, escape for these characters seem nearly impossible. Some reach for what they cannot attain while others achieve it. They all wish to achieve it and they constantly approach it until they reach it upon their deaths. These doors, windows and gates represent imprisonment and freedom in the characters in Wuthering Heights.

In the very beginning, Lockwood comes to Wuthering Heights. The next day when he goes to Wuthering Heights for dinner he encounters “Heahcliff's garden gate just in time to escape the first feathery flakes of snow” (9). The locked gates represent Heathcliff's privacy and the fact that he doesn't want anyone coming into “his world”. Lockwood is “unable to remove the chain, jump[s] over, and, run[s] . . .” (9). Lockwood's response is, “'You deserve perpetual isolation from your species four your churnish inhospitality. At least, I would not keep my doors barred in the day time - I don't care - I will get in!'” (9). This shows Lockwood's determination to get in and unconsciously “unlock” the secrets at Wuthering Heights. When he is within Wuthering Heights Lockwood says, “I approached a window to examine the weather. A sorrowful sight I saw dark night coming down prematurely, and sky and hills mingled in one bitter whirl of wind and suffocating snow” (14). The snow tracks being gone show the foreignness of Wuthering Heights to Lockwood. This observation results in Lockwood spending the night at Wuthering Heights, which represents his own “imprisonment” at Wuthering Heights. That night when Lockwood sees the ghost of Catherine he says, “As it spoke, I discerned, obscurely, a child's face looking through the window” (25). When the ghost of Catherine says, “'Let me in -- let me in!' `I'm come home. I'd lost my way on the moor" (25) it represents her want to be “free”. The only way she can be free is with Heathcliff by her side. Therefore, by her trying to come into Wuthering Heights is her way of attaining her freedom. This is the only way she can rest in peace.

As the story of Wuthering Heights continues when the Edgar and Isabella Linton come over to Wuthering Heights for dinner, Hindley “snatched up the culprit [Heathcliff] directly, and conveyed him to his chamber, where, doubtless, he administered a rough remedy to cool the fit of passion, for he appeared red and breathless” (). This shows Heathcliff's imprisonment in Wuthering Heights. Everyone thinks he is not fit to be in with society. They don't think that he is one of them because of his long hair and dirty complexion. Therefore, Hindley keeps him hidden from the rest of the guests. After Edgar and Catherine get married Nelly says,

“I got Miss Catherine and myself to Thrushcross Grange, and, to my agreeable disappointment, she behaved infinitely better than I dared to expect. She seemed almost over-fond of Mr. Linton, and even to his sister she showed plenty of affection. They were both very attentive to her comfort, certainly. It was not the thorn bending to the honeysuckles, but the honeysuckles embracing the thorn” (92).

This shows that once Catherine is taken out of Wuthering Heights she becomes this totally different person. She is not the same carefree person that she was with Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights yet she is more of the typical type of woman during that time period. When Catherine dies Nelly leaves a window open for Heathcliff to come in and see Catherine in her coffin. Nelly says, “I went and opened one of the windows, moved by his perseverance to give him a chance of bestowing on the faded image of his idol one final adieu. He did not omit to avail himself of the opportunity, cautiously and briefly too cautiously to betray his presence by the slightest noise.” (170). Catherine's death is traumatizing to Heathcliff not only because he loves her but because she was the only person in the world who understands him. He is imprisoned with the people that don't understand who he is.



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