Emily Bronte and Wuthering Heights – the authors personal experiences in the play

Critiques say that Emily Bronte overshadowed her sister, although when compared to her more outgoing sisters, Emily was a seemingly trapped young woman. She expressed her wildest dreams through her writing. Emily, born on July 30th, 1818 in Thorton, Yorkshire, had four sisters and one brother. (Encyclopedia Americana PG 596. ) The female authors of the family included Charlotte, Anne, and Emily. Charlotte’s most famous novel The Professor, along with Jane Eyre were highly praised. Anne wrote Agnes Gray. The Bronte family lived in Haworth.

Mrs. Bronte died during Emily’s third year. She first attended Cowan Bridge School, where she received a fairly good education, although her time there broke of early, she returned home due to her sister’s death. After returning home focused more on her writing. She focused on her poetry. The imaginary village of Gondal influenced her poems. Her sister Anne co wrote some of these poems with her. She later attended a school by the name of Roe Head, but became deeply home sick and returned home. (Stapleton, Michael PG 99.

Her final attempt to go to school was at Law Hill, where her and Charlotte taught. Later their brother Branwell tried influencing them to begin publishing novels because it promised a lot of money. The three sisters formed a publishing company of their own. (Encyclopedia Americana PG 597. ) Then Emily began her work on the famous well-known novel of Wuthering Heights. At first, her novel received little praise compared to her sister’s books. But its acknowledgment came later. Soon Emily no longer focused on her family, writing, or school. She withdrew herself from the world around her.

Her brother Branwell died on October 1st 1848, after drunken rages, that same year Emily became diagnosed with inflammation of the lungs. She died that same year on December 19th. (Www. lang. nagoya-u. ac. jp. ) Although Emily is gone, her novel Wuthering Heights will always be a legend, with its twisted passion, and compelling opposites of Emily’s own life. The story begins in 1801, with a man named Lockwood who comes to rent a room at Thrushcross Grange. Lockwood then meets the master of the Grange and of Wuthering Heights. On his journey to the heights he sees the haunting ghost of Catherine, Heathcliff’s long lost love.

While lying in bed, he hears branches tapping the window, to put them to a halt he reaches to grab them, but to his surprise he grabs the hand of a person instead! “… Instead of which my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice cold hand! ” (Emily Bronte PG 30. ) After this astonishment and returning to Thrushcross Grange, Lockwood asks the housekeeper, Nelly to tell him the tale of Heathcliff. The story begins when Mr. Earnshaw, Catherine and Hindley’s father returns home with an orphan. The boys name is Heathcliff. Hindley hates him, but Catherine comes to love him.

With the death of both Mr. nd Mrs. Earnshaw, Hindley inherits Wuthering Heights. On one evening Heathcliff and Catherine go to Thrushcross Grange to pick on Edgar and Isabella, the rich children that live there. Catherine is forced to stay there after a dog bites her. After a month or so she returns and has lost her love for Heathcliff. Hindley has a son named Hareton, who he calls upon Nelly to take care of since his wife, Frances, died giving the birth. Heathcliff over hears Catherine telling Nelly about her engagement to Edgar, and runs away. He returns some years later as a young man. He plans to seek revenge on Hindley and Edgar.

He soon inherits Wuthering Heights after Hindley dies, and marries Isabella to insure his ownership of Thrushcross Grange. Catherine becomes unhappy with Edgar and her love for Heathcliff returns with his arrival, although her pride will not allow her to follow her heat. She dies giving birth to her daughter Cathy. The story with Cathy begins when Edgar takes Linton, Heathcliff and Isabella’s son, into their home. Heathcliff soon claims him and forces a marriage between Cathy and Linton. Edgar and Linton soon die, one right after the other, and then Heathcliff takes control of Thrushcross Grange.

Which is then rented to Lockwood. Shortly after Lockwood returns to London. On returning to Wuthering Heights he sees that Heathcliff has become obsessed with the ghost of Catherine and soon dies. Cathy and Hareton, Hindley’s son, are in love and plan a wedding. The story ends with Lockwood at Heathcliff and Catherine’s graves. Emily’s life and experiences had much to do with the writing of Wuthering Heights. Emily used her own life to fuel the writing of Wuthering Heights. Her family, her experiences, her religion, and her bottled up, neglected personality all contributed to her writing of Wuthering Heights.

First of all, Emily’s religion played a huge part in the story of Wuthering Heights. Emily did not limit her religion to one particular form, but when asked how she worshiped, she replied, “That is between me and god. ” (Critical Essays on Emily Bronte PG 8. ) Emily beheld three main beliefs. One; that Hell exists only on earth, and no souls suffer torments after death, two; A soul that has suffered sufficiently on earth attains its heaven, Three; A soul that has not suffered is in limbo for a time, but is redeemed by others’ sufferings if not by its own, after enduring the poena damni, deprivation of the desired heaven. Critical Essays on Emily Bronte PG 9. ) These “rules” are often reflected in Wuthering Heights.

With Catherine, she does not go to either Heaven nor Hell, but remains on earth by the wish of Heathcliff, and states herself in the novel she deserves no Heaven. The only time she achieves heaven is when Heathcliff dies and they are once again united, even if it may not be in actual heaven. Emily also refers to Heathcliff as the devil. (Critical Essays on Emily Bronte pg13. ) When Mr. Earnshaw returns home from a trip, he brings with him a boy, “… you must e’en take it as a gift from God, though it’s as dark almost as if it came from the devil. (Pg 40 of Wuthering Heights) Referring to him, as a devil, but yet a gift from God is actually quite complex. It utters Heathcliff’s two personalities, as God, his undying love for Catherine and his ability to control people.

With his ability to manipulate a situation, he also portrays devil like qualities. Also, in the book, there is a part where Cathy and Linton are comparing their perfect ideas of a hot summer day in July. Linton’s idea was a more peaceful one, while Catherine only wanted to dance and sparkle. ” I said his heaven would only be half alive, and he said mine would be drunk. (Pg 237 of Wuthering Heights) Emily immediately relates the differences in their ideas of summer evenings to Heaven. Which implies that Cathy and Linton are not meant for each other. Like every one of us, family holds very important quality. Emily’s family played an important role in Wuthering Heights. Influences for character mainly included her family. Emily was brought up in a large family, which was not uncommon for that day and age. As in the story, all the children were close in age. But, in Wuthering Heights, there were only two or three children in each family.

Maybe this distinguishes an idea that Emily wished she had so she put it into her novel. Emily’s brother Branwell fell victim to drugs, alcohol, and sex. This notes a direct portrayal to Catherine’s brother Hindley. Hindley has more evil to him than Branwell, but takes on drinking and gambling. He soon blows all of his money and dies when he has no place in the world. Exactly like Branwell. Patrick Branwell, Emily’s father, and an Irish man, took care of his family and loved his children. He also died early on in Emily’s life, as did Mr. Earnshaw. Mr. Earnshaw devoted himself to his children. I am going to Liverpool today, what shall I bring you? You may choose what you like” (Wuthering Heights pg 40. )

With the death of Mr. Earnshaw turmoil boils among the family; it brings Hindley’s hatred toward Heathcliff to the surface, similar to the Mrs. Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights. At the age of two, Emily’s mom died. Mrs. Earnshaw is also not noted in the book for more than one or two pages before her death. Emily gave both the Earnshaw’s and the Linton’s lives with out parents. Probably because she would not of known how to write parents into there lives not knowing hers very well at all.

Other factors that have affected Wuthering Heights are her family history, the novel Bridegroom and Barna, and her experiences at Law Hill School. One even her father was telling his children about their ancestors. One of the stories must have connected with Emily because she used it as an outline for her novel. The story goes that his uncle Welsh abused Patrick’s father Hugh Branty, who happened to be adopted. Welsh, a representative of Heathcliff, was found on a boat and adopted by Hugh’s Grandpa.

Welsh later took over the household, and married the daughter of the house. Pyckett, Lyn PG 3-9. ) The Bridegroom and Barna is a story of Emily’s time about two star-crossed lovers from rivaled families. Who are only united in death. Just like the Earnshaw’s and the Linton’s, their children fell in love and only found peace after death. While Emily attended Law Hill School, the owner of the school had two sons, one adopted and one by birth. The son by birth constantly argued and was jealous of the adopted son. This relates directly to Hindley and Heathcliff, two sons arguing for the love of their own father. (Pyckett, Lyn pg10-15. )

The last found influences towards Wuthering Heights are the traits of Emily herself. She was the only child out of six to be given a middle name. It seems as if her parents knew she would be different. She was a very quiet person who kept to her self. And when her own sister came upon her poems she was furious. (Pyckett, Lyn PG 8. ) During her life she experienced a lot of death. Death is also a main factor dealt with in Wuthering Heights. The amount of characters was cut in half by the end of the book. It also reflects the time period where people all died much earlier than they do today.

Wuthering Heights was written towards the end of Emily’s life. Which may be the reason the story has no theme of hope. Emily knew she was going to die, and did not want a doctor to be called in her last hours. (Critical Essays on Emily Bronte PG 51. ) She was also in a state of delusion. Probably living out the lives of her characters in her dreams. Wuthering Heights only has two main settings, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. This portrays an example of how Emily felt trapped in her own home. She wrote to venture out. She had no love of her life yet wrote one the most passionate stories ever.

In conclusion Emily’s experiences, her feelings of being alone, the characteristics of her family members, and her relationship with God, all affected the outcome of Wuthering Heights. Using her religion in her novel allows you to connect with her. It could not have been written the same by any other person; because only she beheld these imaginative believes. The story is extremely personal, using references to her family member, not caring if it affected them, which may exemplify why it was written in the last stage of her life.

Instead of writing about a tremendous love she had experienced, this way she has no boundaries, she may write whatever her mind will let her. Being an outsider, she enabled herself to express how she really felt, how she wished she could be. All in all, Emily Bronte and Wuthering Heights will always be remembered for their originality, and their unique qualities, not for their popular, common traits. Emily’s legend lives on just like Catherine’s. Lingering on Earth even after death.

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