Cime tempestose 2024, Laboratorio, Un libro tante scuole

Wuthering Heights

5A linguistico

Polo Liceale Statale Saffo - Roseto degli Abruzzi

Nome Scuola

Polo Liceale Statale Saffo

Città Scuola

Roseto degli Abruzzi

Last summer we were asked to read a series of books that would have proved essential to understand the English literature we would have studied in the fifth year of high school, and, among them, there was Wuthering Heights.
And, to our surprise, it turned out to be one of the most beautiful books of the summer if not, of recent years; with its tormented and sometimes impossible love story where, surely his characters are his greatest strength.
Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Brontë and published under the pseudonym of Ellis Bell in 1847, is the only novel written by her.
The story takes place around two houses in the Yorkshire moors: Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange; the description of them makes you feel as if you were really in there.
The novel revolves around the tumultuous love story between Heathcliff and Catherine, two young adults raised side by side, who are very similar but at the same time extremely different.
Nevertheless, the lovers don’t end up together due to the fact that Catherine marries Edgar, a young aristocratic man.
From that moment on, the story takes on a dramatic change, and everything falls apart due to Catherine’s death, which will generate chaos in everyone’s lives.
One of the strengths of the book is the large range of topics it portrays, it in fact deals with class conflict, love and revenge.
Furthermore, the plot is also a major point, since it is exciting but at the same time unusual.
Finally, even if the novel might appear a bit complicated at first, the various parts are expertly put together, making it very pleasant to read it
So, we would advise everyone to give this book a chance, although it can scare at the beginning, because it is not an easy novel to read or to understand for the number of characters, for their names and for the intersection of two timelines which, however, remain quite distinct.
Our advice is to start reading it and you will see that, once you have begun you will be captured by the story of the characters but, especially by their past which, will push you to read it all in one breath.

The passage “Back to Wuthering Heights” is an evident turning point of the novel. It really highlights the distinction between the two main characters of the novel, as Catherine comes back her home as a different person.
While before she was depicted as a wild and savage girl, now she “looks like a lady”, just as her brother, Hindley, said. She now reflects the education of a typical Victorian lady: she wears elegant and sophisticated dresses and she is moderate, but also polite. All these main characteristics are made evident in this passage as she comes back from Thrushcross Grange, where she has spent five weeks, and they are put in contrast with Heathcliff’s attitude, who remains ill-tempered.
Initially Catherine looks for Heathcliff, and as soon as she sees him, she rushes towards him as a sign of her affection to him. On the other hand, he doesn’t express any emotion other than rage: after all , he was a foundling, so the fact that she has left him for five weeks makes him feel even more betrayed. All of a sudden Catherine realises how uncared and dirty he actually is and for the first time she seems to be bothered by it.
Previously they were similar, but now she appreciates other values that don’t match with his anymore.
The part where this is more evident is when he touches her (not for his willingness) and she seems to be more worried about how his filthy hand could ruin her dress, as she instinctively moves away.
The two settings of the passage are: -Wuthering Heights which is connected with natural environment, unrestrained behaviour and passions. Additionally, its lifestyle is plain and practical; -Thrushcross Grange, a respectable bourgeois home connected with the values of politeness, stability and respectability.

THE ETERNAL ROCKS BENEATH. This passage is one of the most famous ones of the novel where Emily Brontë deals with the declaration of Catherine’s true, deep love for Heathcliff. The passage opens with a conversation between the two speakers: Catherine and Nelly. On one side we can see Catherine talking about her queer dream, which is a difficult dream to understand, which Catherine compares to wine: it changes the colour of water when mixed to it. According to this simile, her strange dream would be the wine that changes her mind, which is symbolised by water. On the other side Nelly says that she’s afraid of Catherine’s dream because she is really superstitious, so she doesn’t want to know anything about it, because it could foresee something bad like a prophecy. Also, in the passage Catherine talks about her decision to marry Edgar Linton and her reasons, which are practical ones: she wants to help Heathcliff get out of the terrible situation he lives with Catherine’s brother, Hindley, who ill-treats him, and also because with this marriage she won’t degrade herself. Meanwhile, Heathcliff is overhearing the conversation, so he gets mad and leaves. Because of that he won’t listen to the second part of Catherine’s speech, where she states the reasons for loving Heathcliff: “he is more herself than she is”, also because they have similar souls. However, Catherine firmly remains on the idea to marry Linton , even if he will not tolerate Heathcliff’s presence, but she could not imagine to separate from Heathcliff again because he is always in her mind and she’ll love him eternally. In addition, in line 59, Catherine makes reference to the myth of Milo, a Greek athlete, according to whose legend, he was trying to tear a tree apart when his hands were trapped in a fissure in the trunk, and a pack of wolves (or a lion) devoured him. Just as Milo’s hands were held fast by the tree, Catherine’s destiny cannot be separated from that of Heathcliff. The narrator of this passage is Nelly, she’s an insider one and she tells the story using the narrative technique of dialogue. In fact, the narrator uses the self revealing technique by which the reader can understand Catherine’s and Nelly’s personalities as well as their inner thoughts and ideas. As for Catherine’s personality, she’s very passionate, romantic but also determined. She’s described has having a very impulsive and rebellious personality. Her feelings are really intense, as she seems to be stuck in a sort of eternal struggle between her love for Heathcliff and her desire for social status and wealth. As for Nelly, she’s practical, rational, but above all, she’s honest and very sensible. In fact, in this passage, she totally disapproves of what Catherine is saying as it is absurde and illogical. Moreover, she tries to make her reason about the fact that by marrying Linton, she will separate from Heathcliff forever, which is unbearable to her.
In this passage, Cathy also makes a comparison between Heathcliff and Edgar, describing how different her love for them is. In fact, she uses words related to the cold elements of nature to describe Edgar like “frost”, while she uses words of the natural elements related to heat like “fire” to describe Heatchliff. Through this choice, she wants to underline the fact that, the passion she feels for Heathcliff is stronger, while it is not the same for Edgar. Finally, she also uses two similes according to which, her love for Edgar is like “foliage in the woods”, while her love for Heathcliff is like “the eternal rocks beneath”. Therefore the first simile is linked to change, as foliage can change its color in winter, so does her love. In contrast, the second one is linked to eternity as her love for Heatchliff will be eternal.
To conclude , the use of natural elements in these similes makes this novel more Romantic than other authentic Romantic novels, being nature is one of the main elements of Romanticism.

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