In the novel Wuthering Heights by Emile Brontë (1847) various ideas and concepts recur in the different chapters. These recurring concepts give us a means to peer into the societal ideals of the 1800’s in which the novel is shaped by and set in. The questioning of the position of the individual in society and in life is brought out in the story through the use of various characters and their interactions with one another. In chapter 9 of the book, Catherine opens up about her feelings on the idea of her individuality and how she views herself as an individual. ”If all else perished and, and he remained, I should still continue to be … Nelly, I am Heathcliff.” She talks about her bond to Heathcliff and how it transcends that of a physical bond as result of her intense feelings for him, leading it to act as a link between her being and his. This brings out this upstart ideology that began to appear in the 1800’s. As the Industrial Revolution began to sweep over the world many new, progressive ideas were springing up in society. One of these was the idea that women could also be contributing members to society, driven by the contributions that women brought to the furtherance of the Industrial Revolution, whether it be through physical labour or support in the shadows. This was in conflict with the religious dogma of the time and the social structure, as women were seen as subservient figures to ...
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... reflects upon the ideals and values held within the society of the time. This is done through the exploration of a multitude of aspects found within the society through character interactions and recurring themes. These themes help shed light on the issues that concerned members of the society at the time. In the case of Wuthering Heights the importance of the individual is brought out and it manifests through; women and the role they play in society, the values that the individual holds, in particular the importance of social standings and the suppression of the individual as a result of societal constructs such as religion and an institutionalised hierarchy. By exploring these concepts in the novel we are able to gain insight on how these things affected the people that lived in the 1800’s and how they manifested themselves in the day to day lives of individuals.
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