There is so much more to Wuthering Heights than the love story that many insist is in the novel (and which I would contend is imported by reader bias and Hollywood). Here are some non-love- story aspects of the novel to consider. I will provide answers to the questions in my next post.
1. It is well known that there are two principal narrators in Wuthering Heights, Nelly Dean and Lockwood. There are two other characters who serve as narrators as well. Who are they?
2. Many readers have considered Wuthering Heights to be a gothic novel and have relished the presence of ghosts, considering that the child at the window, crying to be “let in,” is a ghost and not just a product of Lockwood’s dream. What important fact argues against considering the apparition as the “ghost” of Catherine?
3. How many characters die in Wuthering Heights? Count them and consider whether there is any other novel that has as many. Is there any meaning to the number of deceased characters?
4. Emily Bronte died of consumption (tuberculosis) shortly after completing the novel. She describes the demise of three characters from the same disease in the book, in an eerie portent of her own fate. Who are the three characters?
5. When Heathcliff dies few would be sorry, but there are two characters who have a notable reaction to his death: one is sincerely grieved and the other is jubilant. Who are these two and why do they have their strong emotions?
6. Emily Bronte was first (if not foremost) a poet. The following poem could have been spoken by one of the characters in Wuthering Heights. Which one and why?
If grief for grief can touch thee,
If answering woe for woe,
If any ruth can melt thee,
Come to me now!
I cannot be more lonely,
More drear I cannot be!
My worn heart throbs so wildly
Twill break for thee.
And when the world despises,
When heaven repels my prayer,
Will not mine angel comfort,
Mine idol hear?
Yes, by the tears I’ve poured thee,
By all my hours of pain,
O I shall surely win thee,