Often in literature, the fictional written word mimics or mirrors the non-fictional actions of the time. These reflections may be social, historical, biographical, or a combination of these. Through setting, characters, and story line, an author can recreate in linear form on paper some of the abstract concepts and ideas from the world s/he is living in. In the case of Emily Bronte, her novel Wuthering Heights very closely mirrors her own life and the lives of her family members. Bronte's own life emerges on the pages of this novel through the setting, characters, and story line of Wuthering Heights.
This novel is set in the open moors of England, where Bronte grew up. Nelly Dean, the narrator, describes the setting when she and young Cathy go for a walk, ""Climb to that hillock, pass that bank, and by the time you reach the other side, I shall have raised the birds." But there were so many hillocks and banks to climb and pass, that, at length, I began to be weary...she dived into a hollow; and before I came in sight of her again, she was two miles nearer Wuthering Heights than her own home" (WH 163). Nelly Dean is a young middle-aged woman who is accustomed to physical labor, and her description of the moors help the reader realize the vastness of the scenery.
The open wildness of the moors seemed to call to Bronte whenever she was away from them. J-- H--, British Literature student at Central Oregon Community College, claims that Bronte left the moors in 1835 but could only stay away for three months. According to Hawes's Seminar A response, Bronte, "missed the wildness of the moors and could not stay away from them." This coincides with Bronte's sister, Charlo...
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...(WH 3). According to Hawes, Bronte needed the seclusion of the moors. It seems she was lonelier away from them than trudging by alone upon them.
Wuthering Heights is a reflection of Emily Bronte's life in many ways. Through fictional setting, characters, and story line she mirrors her own and her family's real life. It is too bad that Emily Bronte died at the young age of thirty-one. She produced this great novel in a short life span and the world will never know what other great works could have come from her life and her pen.
Damrosch, David, et al., ed. The Longman Anthology of British Literature: Vol. B. Compact ed. New York: Longman - Addison Wesley Longman, 2000.
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. Norton Critical ed. 3rd ed. Ed. William M. Sale, Jr., and Richard J. Dunn. New York: W. W. Norton, 1990.
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