The Implications of the Title "Wuthering Heights" Essay

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It is a question that has baffled readers and critics alike through generations, a question that can be endlessly pondered upon and debated over, as to why Emily Bronte chose to name her first and only novel, after the house in which a sizable part of the action chronicled takes place, despite being armed with characters of such extra-ordinary strength and passion as Heathcliff or Catherine. But on close scrutiny, a reader can perhaps discern the reason behind her choice, the fact that Wuthering Heights is at once a motif, a setting and according to a few critics, even a ‘premonitory indication’ of the tempestuous nature of things soon to occur. ‘Wuthering Heights’, although having survived the test of time as a work that is poignant and…show more content…
But leaving aside Wuthering Heights’ importance as the site of most of the action, the very word Wuthering is pregnant with meaning in the context of the story. To quote from the story itself, “‘Wuthering’ being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather.” ‘Wuthering’ is a Yorkshire word referring to turbulent weather, and it is this turbulence that rages on and propels the story forward for most of its length. As a building also, Wuthering Heights, with its imposing, almost brooding façade, characterizes the story better than Thrushcross Grange which is opulent and placid. The narrative is non-linear, switching between the voice of Mr.Lockwood, and that of Ellen Dean (called Nelly by most of the characters), a former housekeeper of Wuthering Heights and at the point where the narrative starts, present housekeeper of Thrushcross Grange. Mr.Lockwood describes the house at the very beginning, ‘happily, the architect had the foresight to build it strong: the narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the corners defended with large, jutting stones.’ He also mentions that there is a “quantity of grotesque carving lavished over the front, and especially about the principal door, above which, among a wilderness of crumbling griffins and

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