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Emily Brontë_Wuthering Heights – Extract from wikipedia

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Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë‘s only novel. Written between October 1845 and June 1846,[1] Wuthering Heightswas published in 1847 under the pseudonym ″Ellis Bell″; Brontë died the following year, aged 30. Wuthering Heightsand Anne Brontë’s Agnes Grey were accepted by publisher Thomas Newby before the success of her sister Charlotte’snovel, Jane Eyre. After Emily’s death, Charlotte edited the manuscript of Wuthering Heights, and arranged for the edited version to be published as a posthumous second edition in 1850.[2]

Wuthering Heights is the name of the farmhouse where the story unfolds. The book’s core theme is the destructive effect of jealousy and vengefulness both on the jealous or vengeful individuals and on their communities.

Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature, contemporary reviews for the novel were deeply polarized; it was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was unusually stark, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day, including religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality.[3][4] The English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti referred to it as “A fiend of a book – an incredible monster … The action is laid in hell, – only it seems places and people have English names there.”[5]

In the second half of the 19th century, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was considered the best of the Brontë sisters‘ works, but following later re-evaluation, critics began to argue Wuthering Heights was superior.[6] The book has inspired adaptations, including film, radio and television dramatisations, a musical by Bernard J. Taylor, a ballet, operas (by Bernard Herrmann, Carlisle Floyd, and Frédéric Chaslin), a role-playing game,[7] and a 1978 song by Kate Bush.

Contents

1- Plot

Opening (chapters 1 to 3)

In 1801, Mr Lockwood, a wealthy man from the south of England, rents Thrushcross Grange in the north for peace and recuperation. He visits his landlord, Mr Heathcliff, who lives in a remote moorland farmhouse, “Wuthering Heights“, where he finds an odd assemblage: Heathcliff seems to be a gentleman, but his manners are uncouth; the reserved mistress of the house is in her mid-teens; and a young man seems to be a family member yet dresses and speaks like a servant.

Snowed in, Lockwood is grudgingly allowed to stay and is shown to a bedchamber where he notices books and graffiti left by a former inhabitant named Catherine. He falls asleep and has a nightmare in which he sees the ghostly Catherine trying to enter through the window. He cries out in fear, rousing Heathcliff who rushes to the room. Lockwood is convinced that what he saw was real. Heathcliff, believing Lockwood to be right, examines the window and opens it hoping to allow Catherine’s spirit to enter. When nothing happens, Heathcliff shows Lockwood to his own bedroom and returns to keep watch at the window.

At sunrise, Heathcliff escorts Lockwood back to Thrushcross Grange. Lockwood asks the housekeeper, Nelly Dean, about the family at Wuthering Heights, and she tells him the tale.

Heathcliff’s childhood (chapters 4 to 17)

Thirty years earlier, Wuthering Heights is occupied by Mr Earnshaw, his teenage son Hindley and his daughter Catherine. On a trip to Liverpool, Earnshaw encounters a homeless boy described as “dark-skinned gypsy in aspect”. He adopts the boy and names him Heathcliff. Hindley feels that Heathcliff has supplanted him in his father’s affections and becomes bitterly jealous. Catherine and Heathcliff become friends and spend hours each day playing on the moors. They grow close.

Hindley is sent to college. Three years later, Earnshaw dies and Hindley becomes the master of Wuthering Heights. He returns to live there with his new wife, Frances. He allows Heathcliff to stay but only as a servant.

A few months after Hindley’s return, Heathcliff and Catherine walk to Thrushcross Grange to spy on the Lintons who are living there. After being discovered, they try to run away but are caught. Catherine is injured by the Lintons’ dog and taken into the house to recuperate while Heathcliff is sent home. Catherine stays with the Lintons and is influenced by their fine appearance and genteel manners. When she returns to Wuthering Heights, her appearance and manners are more ladylike and she laughs at Heathcliff’s unkempt appearance. The next day, knowing that the Lintons would visit, Heathcliff tries to dress up in an effort to impress Catherine, but he and Edgar Linton get into an argument and Hindley humiliates Heathcliff by locking him in the attic. Catherine tries to comfort Heathcliff, but he vows revenge on Hindley.

The following year, Frances Earnshaw gives birth to a son, named Hareton, but dies a few months later. Hindley descends into drunkenness. Two more years pass and Catherine and Edgar Linton eventually become friends while she becomes more distant from Heathcliff. While Hindley is away, Edgar visits Catherine, and they declare themselves lovers soon after.

Catherine confesses to Nelly that Edgar has proposed and she has accepted, although her love for Edgar is not comparable to her love for Heathcliff, whom she cannot marry because of his low social status and lack of education. She hopes to use her position as Edgar’s wife to raise Heathcliff’s standing. Heathcliff overhears her say it would ‘degrade’ her to marry him (but not how much she loves him) and in despair runs away and disappears without a trace. Distraught by Heathcliff’s departure, Catherine makes herself ill out of spite. Nelly and Edgar thus begin to pander to her every whim to prevent her from becoming ill again. Three years pass. Edgar and Catherine marry, and live together at Thrushcross Grange.

Six months later, Heathcliff returns, now a wealthy gentleman. Catherine is delighted; Edgar is not. Edgar’s sister, Isabella, soon falls in love with Heathcliff, who despises her but encourages the infatuation as a means of revenge. One day, he embraces Isabella, leading to an argument with Edgar. Upset, Catherine locks herself in her room, and begins to make herself ill again through spite and jealousy.

Heathcliff takes up residence at Wuthering Heights, and spends his time gambling with Hindley and teaching Hareton bad habits. Hindley dissipates his wealth and mortgages the farmhouse to Heathcliff to pay his debts. Heathcliff elopes with Isabella Linton; two months later the couple returns to Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff hears that Catherine is ill and, with Nelly’s help, visits her secretly. However, Catherine is pregnant, and the following day she gives birth to a daughter, Cathy, shortly before dying.

After Catherine’s funeral, Isabella leaves Heathcliff and takes refuge in the south of England. She too is pregnant, and gives birth to a son, Linton. Hindley dies six months after Catherine, and Heathcliff thus finds himself master of Wuthering Heights.

Heathcliff’s maturity (chapters 18 to 31)

After twelve years, Catherine’s daughter Cathy grows into a beautiful, high-spirited girl. Edgar learns his sister Isabella is dying, and so he leaves to retrieve her son Linton in order to adopt and educate him. Although Cathy rarely leaves the borders of the Grange, she takes advantage of her father’s absence to venture farther afield. She rides over the moors to Wuthering Heights and discovers she has not one, but two cousins: Hareton in addition to Linton. She also lets it be known that her father has gone south to fetch Linton. When Edgar returns with Linton, a weak and sickly boy, Heathcliff insists that he live at Wuthering Heights.

Three years pass. Walking on the moors, Nelly and Cathy encounter Heathcliff, who takes them to Wuthering Heights to see Linton and Hareton. Heathcliff hopes Linton and Cathy will marry, so that Linton becomes the heir to Thrushcross Grange. Linton and Cathy begin a secret friendship, echoing the childhood friendship between their respective parents, Heathcliff and Catherine.

The following year, Edgar becomes very ill, taking a turn for the worse while Nelly and Cathy are out on the moors, where Heathcliff and Linton trick them into entering Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff keeps them captive to enable the marriage of Cathy and Linton to take place. After five days Nelly is released and later, with Linton’s help, Cathy escapes. She returns to the Grange to see her father shortly before he dies.

Now master of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange, and Cathy’s father-in-law, Heathcliff insists on her returning to live at Wuthering Heights and remaining there after Linton’s death. Soon after she arrives, Linton dies. Hareton tries to be kind to Cathy, but she retreats and then withdraws from the world.

At this point, Nelly’s tale catches up to the present day. Time passes, and after being ill for a period Lockwood grows tired of the moors and informs Heathcliff that he will be leaving Wuthering Heights.

Ending (chapters 32 to 34)

Eight months later, Lockwood returns to the area by chance. Given that his tenancy at Thrushcross Grange is still valid, he decides to stay there again. He finds Nelly living at Wuthering Heights and enquires what has happened since he left.

She explains that she moved to Wuthering Heights to replace the housekeeper, Zillah, who had left. Hareton had an accident and was confined to the farmhouse. During his convalescence, he and Cathy overcame their mutual antipathy and became close. While their friendship developed, Heathcliff began to act strangely and had visions of Catherine. He stopped eating and after four days was found dead in Catherine’s old room. He was buried next to Catherine.

Lockwood learns that Hareton and Cathy plan to marry on New Year’s Day. As he readies to leave, he passes the graves of Catherine, Edgar, and Heathcliff, and pauses to contemplate the quiet of the moors.

Adaptations

Olivier, with Merle Oberon in the 1939 film Wuthering Heights

The earliest known film adaptation of Wuthering Heights was filmed in England and directed by A. V. Bramble. It is unknown if any prints still exist.[28] The most famous was 1939’s Wuthering Heights, starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon and directed by William Wyler. This acclaimed adaptation, like many others, eliminated the second generation’s story (young Cathy, Linton and Hareton) and is rather inaccurate as an literature adaption. It won the 1939 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Film and was nominated for the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture.

1967 BBC dramatisation staring Ian McShane and Angela Scoular

The 1970 film with Timothy Dalton as Heathcliff is the first colour version of the novel, and gained acceptance over the years though it was initially poorly received. The character of Hindley is portrayed much more sympathetically, and his story-arc is altered. It also subtly suggests that Heathcliff may be Cathy’s illegitimate half-brother.

In 1978 the BBC produced a five part TV serialisation of the book starring Ken Hutchinson, Kay Adshead and John Duttine with music by Carl Davis; it is considered one of the most faithful adaptations of Emily Brontë’s story.

The 1992 film Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche is notable for including the oft-omitted second generation story of the children of Cathy, Hindley and Heathcliff.

Recent film or TV adaptations include ITV‘s 2009 two part drama series starring Tom Hardy, Charlotte Riley, Sarah Lancashire, and Andrew Lincoln.[29] and the2011 film starring Kaya Scodelario and James Howson and directed by Andrea Arnold.

Adaptations which reset the story in a new setting include the 1954 adaptation retitled Abismos de Pasion directed by Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel set in Catholic Mexico, with Heathcliff and Cathy renamed Alejandro and Catalina. In Buñuel’s version Heathcliff/Alejandro claims to have become rich by making a deal with Satan. The New York Times reviewed a re-release of this film as “an almost magical example of how an artist of genius can take someone else’s classic work and shape it to fit his own temperament without really violating it,” noting that the film was thoroughly Spanish and Catholic in its tone while still highly faithful to Brontë.[30]Yoshishige Yoshida‘s 1988 adaptation also has a transposed setting, this time in medieval Japan. In Yoshida’s version, the Heathcliff character, Onimaru, is raised in a nearby community of priests who worship a local fire god. In 2003, MTV produced a poorly reviewed version set in a modern California high school.

The 1966 Indian film Dil Diya Dard Liya is based upon this novel. The film is directed by Abdul Rashid Kardar and Dilip Kumar. The film stars the thespian Dilip Kumar, Waheeda Rehman, Pran, Rehman, Shyama and Johnny Walker. The music is by the legendary composer Naushad. Although it did not fare as well as other movies of Dilip Kumar, it was well received by critics

The novel has been popular in opera and theatre, including operas written by Bernard Herrmann, Carlisle Floyd, and Frédéric Chaslin (most cover only the first half of the book) and a musical by Bernard J. Taylor.

In 2011, a graphic novel version was published by Classical Comics,[31] and stays close to the original novel. It was adapted by Scottish writer Sean Michael Wilsonand hand painted by comic book veteran artist John M Burns. This version received a nomination for the Stan Lee Excelsior Awards, voted by pupils from 170 schools in the United Kingdom.

References

  1. Jump up^ Bloom’s Guides: Wuthering Heights
  2. Jump up^ Charlotte’s 1850 Edition
  3. Jump up^ “Excerpts from Contemporary Reviews”. Academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  4. Jump up^ “”Wuthering Heights”: Publication & Contemporary Critical Reception”. Academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  5. Jump up^ Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Letter of Sept. 19 1854
  6. Jump up^ “Later Critical Response to Wuthering Heights”. Academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu. 4 March 2009. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
  7. Jump up^ http://unseelie.org/rpg/wh/
  8. Jump up^ Eagleton, Terry. Myths of Power: A Marxist Study of the Brontës. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
  9. Jump up^ Gilbert, Sandra M. and Susan Gubar. The Madwoman in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Imagination. New Haven: Yale UP, 2000.
  10. Jump up^ Harley, James (1958). The Villain in Wuthering Heights” (PDF). p. 17. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  11. Jump up^ Oates, Joyce Carol. “The Magnanimity of Wuthering Heights”, Critical Inquiry, 1983
  12. Jump up^ Moers, Ellen. Literary Women: The Great Writers[1976] (London: The Women’s Press, 1978)
  13. Jump up^ Beauvais, Jennifer. “Domesticity and the Female Demon in Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights”, Romanticism on the Net, Numéro 44, novembre 2006, DOI: 10.7202/013999ar
  14. Jump up^ Cristina Ceron, Christina. “Emily and Charlotte Brontë’s Re-reading of the Byronic hero”, Revue LISA/LISA e-journal [Online], Writers, writings, Literary studies, document 2, 9 March 2010, DOI : 10.4000/lisa.3504
  15. Jump up^ Wuthering Heights Vol.1
  16. Jump up^ Wuthering Heights Vol.2
  17. Jump up^ Irene Wiltshire: Speech in Wuthering Heights
  18. ^ Jump up to:a b Paul Thompson (June 2009). “Wuthering Heights: the home of the Earnshaws”. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  19. Jump up^ Paul Thompson (June 2009). “The inspiration for the Wuthering Height’s farmhouse?”. Retrieved 11 October 2009.
  20. Jump up^ Robert Barnard (2000) Emily Brontë
  21. Jump up^ Ian Jack (1995) Explanatory Notes in Oxford World’s Classics edition ofWuthering Heights
  22. ^ Jump up to:a b Publication Stir
  23. Jump up^ American Whig Review
  24. ^ Jump up to:a b Critical reception
  25. ^ Jump up to:a b Critical reception
  26. Jump up^ Literary World review
  27. Jump up^ Britannia review
  28. Jump up^ Wuthering Heights (1920) at the Internet Movie Database
  29. Jump up^ Wuthering Heights (2009(TV)) at the Internet Movie Database
  30. Jump up^ Vincent Canby (27 December 1983). “Abismos de Pasion (1953) Bunuel’s Brontë”. New York Times. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  31. Jump up^ “Classical Comics”. Classical Comics. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  32. Jump up^ Whiteley, Sheila (2005). Too much too young: popular music, age and gender. Psychology Press. p. 9. ISBN 0-415-31029-6.
  33. Jump up^ Tromeur, Philippe (January 2011). “Wuthering Heights” game. Many reviews of the game use an older link. Retrieved on 8 January 2011 fromhttp://www.unseelie.org/rpg/wh/index.html.
  34. Jump up^ The former on page 11, the latter on p. 611
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