A perfect description of 19th century life
Emily bronte was well ahead of her time in writing this incredible love story. the plot was very complex, yet the intricacies of revolving a story within a story within another story never created an error. the author wrote on some very specific issues of the day and one would need to formally investigate the book in order to find any mistakes. this is a story by mr. lockwood who really comes in at the end of the story. he meets his new landlord heathcliff and is able to discern some very strange happenings at wuthering heights. his servant, nellie dean, narrates most of the story as she lived it. she and joseph are the only people to live through the three generations and the only one able to recount first hand knowledge. this is a love story, ghost story, and story of oppression all in one. emily bronte was able to describe the ill-effects of english property law in the 19th century. primogeniture--the law of inheritance, where only the eldest male child could inherit family estates without a contrary will, often could result in the younger siblings being turned into mere servants. this is how hindley came to own wuthering heights and why he was able to ruin heathcliff. there is much effort from various forces to keep heathcliff and catherine seperate. there is also much symbolism regarding various images such as locks that represent keeping people prisoner, or of dogs that demonstrate the character of their owners. much forshadowing is accomplished with great sophistication. this was written from a "realist" perspective and yet there are elements of "post modernism" included as in the case of ghosts and supernatural happenigs. one might question whether or not emily bronte believed in the supernatural and considered it as real and natural, which would then relate it back to realism. there are many twists and turns and the symmetry is flawless. we have two seperate parents who are neighbors. each have an elder boy and a younger girl. heathcliff is a foundling who is regarded as a "gypsy" (possibly a slave child or illegitimate child of mr. earnshaw), the son of the lintons (edgar),marries the daughter of the earnshaws (catherine), and they have a girl named catherine. hindley, the son of the earnshaws marries outside of the family and produces a son, hareton. this helps to keep the incest down a bit. heathcliff who was raised in the earnshaw home marries the daughter of the lintons (isabella) and they have a child linton heathcliff. this child ends up marrying the younger catherine and when linton dies, catherine marries hareton. so in effect she has married two first cousins. the characters grow up in a very oppressive atmosphere. the servants are actually treated better than the children who are often whipped or starved. this is "gothic" like in the dark, dreariness that seems to envelope the families and the frequent use of punishment. even the environment is unfriendly often times. the moors are dangerous and the weather is often rainy or cold and snowy. it is a sad story with the only hope coming in the end when hareton and catherine marry and reclaim rightful ownership of wuthering heights and thrushcross grange, which had been taken from them by heathcliff.