Sympathetic Background in Wuthering Heights

1044 WordsDec 18, 20085 Pages
How does Emily Bronte use sympathetic background in Volume One to convey tragedy? Volume One contains a jittery narrative which is a mark of Bronte’s ominous style from which tragic events occur. With this jumping between events, there is an obvious foreshadowing of tragedy through a combination of pathetic fallacy, emotional symbolism and sympathetic background. Sympathetic background is the literary device where the surroundings mirror, mimic or elope with the emotions of the characters in it. Sympathetic background is especially evident when Bronte uses much of the settings of Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights to convey the feelings of the characters within. The use of sympathetic background can be seen as early as the first…show more content…
This chapter also gives Heathcliff his first major speech, from which he scorns “I’d not exchange, for a thousand lives, my condition here, for Edgar Linton’s at Thrushcross Grange-not if I might have the privilege of flinging Joseph off the highest gable, and painting the house-front with Hindley’s blood!”. These graphic, gothic lines show his emotional bonds with the Heights, that he and the Heights share each others’ feelings in times of hardship and struggle. It’s showing that both houses are representative of classes, from a Marxist perspective. The natural power of the Heights is matched by the moral power of the Grange. This balance turns into another struggle in Chapter 8, this time between Heathcliff and Edgar Linton. With Catherine caught in a trap of whether to follow her heart or her head, with Heathcliff pressuring Catherine into giving into him, who is then distraught when he overhears a conversation between her and Nelly, hears the wrong part, then running off. The conversation by the fire with Nelly isn’t as covert as planned, as the surroundings, the howling gale outside influence the characters. Uttering the cutting line “I am Heathcliff”, she is distraught as he gallops away. With her new found opulence, the new Misses Linton is beset by woe 5 years on when Heathcliff returns to the Grange in Chapter 10. This immense jubilation is

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