Cime tempestose 2024, Laboratorio, Un libro tante scuole

Commentary on two passages of the novel


Polo Liceale Statle Saffo - Roseto degli Abruzzi

Nome Scuola

Polo Liceale Statle Saffo

Città Scuola

Roseto degli Abruzzi

Una cosa che ti ha colpito

The relationship between Cathy and Hareton because it restores peace and order among the two families and even the houses, Trushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights. Indeed, this love story gives a happy ending to this intricate novel.

Una frase del libro da conservare

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same”

Se questo libro fosse una canzone

“Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush.

Analysis of Back to Wuthering Heights
Catherine returns from Trushcross Grange, having been there for five weeks due to an injury caused by one of the Lintons’ dogs.
During this period she is taught the typical good manners of a Victorian young lady, and from a reckless girl she becomes elegant and poised.
When her brother Hindley sees her, he compliments and tells her that not even Isabella Linton, a symbol of elegance, is on her level. When Nelly helps her remove her coat, the girl kisses her, without hugging her for fear of getting flour on her dress; then she looks for Heathcliff. The boy, who before was untidy and careless of himself, had become even worse during the girl’s absence: he didn’t wash his face, he didn’t comb his hair and he didn’t change his clothes. Hindley calls him, saying he can greet Catherine along with the other servants. As soon as she sees him, she runs to hug and kiss him, but she stops by pointing out how dirty and messy he is. Annoyed, he doesn’t want to shake people’s hands because he feels ridiculed. Catherine apologizes for teasing him and encourages him to wash, but as Heathcliff notices that she doesn’t come closer because he fears that her dress might get dirty, he becomes angry, telling her that there is no need for her to touch him, and that it could be as dirty as he wants
The passage represents a significant turning point in the novel, as it marks Catherine’s return from her extended stay at Thrushcross Grange. Brontë utilises it to juxtapose the refined manners and genteel atmosphere of Thrushcross Grange with the rugged and wild environment of Wuthering Heights. Catherine’s transformation after her time at Thrushcross Grange is evident in her refined appearance, demeanor, and speech, which sharply contrasts with the untamed nature of her childhood home.
As Catherine reenters the Wuthering Heights’ world, her changed behaviour and elevated social status become apparent. She feels superior to Heathcliff, whom she once shared a deep bond with. This shift in Catherine’s character foreshadows the conflicts that will arise between her desire for social advancement and her emotional ties to her past.
The introduction of Edgar Linton, Catherine’s suitor from Thrushcross Grange, adds another layer of tension to the narrative. Edgar’s refined manners and genteel behaviour stand in stark contrast to the rough and passionate Heathcliff, presenting Catherine dealing with a choice between societal expectations and personal desires.
Overall, the extract serves as a turning point in “Wuthering Heights”, highlighting the themes of social class, identity, and the clash between civilisation and wilderness. Brontë masterfully crafts a complex web of relationships and conflicts, setting the stage for the dramatic events that will unfold throughout the rest of the novel.

Analysis of “The eternal rocks beneath”
“The eternal rocks beneath”, a passage of “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë, is one of the most famous passages because here Catherine declares her love for Heathcliff.
At the very beginning of the passage, Catherine reveals that she had a bad dream and she would like to talk about it to Nelly, the housekeeper.
Catherine compares her dreams to wine: her dreams change her mind as wine changes the colour of water when they are mixed.
Firstly, Nelly doesn’t want to know about Catherine’s dream; she is superstitious and she doesn’t want to evoke ghosts or visions through this eventual conversation.
So, Catherine pretends to talk about another subject, but in the end she comes back to her original subject: her dream.
Catherine explains that in her dream there was heaven, but that she understood that heaven was not the right place for her, just as her marriage to Edgar Linton.
In fact, she explains the reasons why she is going to marry him: she doesn’t want to degrade herself by marrying Heathcliff and she believes that by marrying Edgar she can free Heathcliff from her brother’s power. But, actually, he is the person she really loves.
She loves Heathcliff because he is more herself than she is, their souls are alike “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” line 37.
Nelly would like Catherine to stop the conversation, so she pretends she heard Joseph and Heathcliff’s carriage from the road and that they are coming home.
After this little pause, Catherine continues her telling. She tells Nelly that she is intended to lay down a condition before marrying Edgar: she wants him to accept Heathcliff’s presence as she is not going to separate from him.
Nelly is shocked: she doubts that Edgar can accept this condition. Moreover, she considers Catherine’s reasons for marrying Edgar the worst.
But Catherine doesn’t agree with her: nobody can separate her from her love, he is always in her mind as her own being.

In this passage, the two main speakers are Nelly Dean, the housekeeper, and Catherine, even though there is also Heathcliff who overhears the conversation between the two ladies.

Apart from being a character of the story, Nelly is also the narrator of it together with Mr Lockwood; in fact she is an insider and as such, reliable narrator, having lived the events she tells in first person. While Nelly narrates the past events, Mr Lockwood refers to the present; indeed, it is visible a shift in the narration in line 18 due to the fact that the verb is introduced by the present simple.
The narration mode is dialogue, which is a fundamental feature, being the means by which the reader can really understand the personalities, thoughts, attitudes and opinions of Catherine and Nelly. What can be seen is that Nelly disapproves of Catherine’s statements, in part because she is more rational, but also because she is more sensible; in contrast with this, Catherine can be defined as determined, passionate, romantic and surely confused about her feelings for Heathcliff and Edgar. She is representative of the double, one of the main themes of the novel: everything in the story is arranged in pairs, even Catherine’s character which is divided into two parts, the one that calls for Heathcliff and the other that wants Edgar.

In describing the two men, she decides to use the images of the natural world underlining the link between nature and human passions, for example the role of the moor in the whole novel is essential, being the natural setting of the love story between Heathcliff and Catherine. Moreover, in talking about Edgar she refers to cold elements of nature as the “frost” or the “moonbeam” (line 38) that represent gentility and civilisation; furthermore, she defines her love for Linton as “the foliage in the woods” (line 80) subject to change as the cycle of the seasons and bound to fade and then to die.
On the other hand, in describing Heathcliff, Catherine uses natural elements of violence and heat such as “lightning” and “fire” (line 38), which refer to passions and strength; moreover, her love for him recalls “the eternal rocks beneath” (line 81) as it is unchangeable and everlasting; indeed, in line 59, Catherine says that anyone who tries to separate her from Heathcliff will meet “the fate of Milo”; meaning that they are meant to be together and that nobody could ever split up their love.
In some ways Emily Brontë appears to write a more romantic novel than Jane Austen’s ones where passions are not unstrained nor openly expressed. In some points, “Wuthering Heights” definitely represents a proper romantic novel!

5ALIN: Sara Regi, Ilaria Tiberii, Elena Ferretti, Giulia Pedicone, Lorenzo Di Donato, Luigi Di Marcello, Christian Carulli, Bruno Mincarelli.

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