Feminism In Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights

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Wuthering Heights, an Emily Brontë novel, is a classic tale of forbidden love. Throughout the novel, Brontë discusses Feminism a Critical Theory used to find a deeper meaning in the story. Brontë does this by showing women oppression, showing how little they were not oppressed, and shows the oppression in the Romantic time period. The critical theory Feminism is by its dictionary definition, “questions the long-standing, dominant, male, phallocentric ideologies, patriarchal attitudes and male interpretations in literature.” (The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, 315). This means, that Feminism is showing the male dominant roles in literature and how they play out in that particular society. Feminism in literature is …show more content…
Both of the little girls in the novel Catherine, then later Cathy, are shown not being able to leave the house without the company of either their fathers or the caretaker, Nelly. Because of this neither girls grow up to be intelligent women since they were unable to explore the world around them, being confined to the “safe” bonds of home. This caused them to be naive and “fall in love” with the first boy they met. Thus creating abusive relationships that resulted in hardships and inadequate living conditions. If as young children they were not oppressed, they would have been able to avoid these issues and become independent women. This also goes to show that they are forced to marry because people see them as being unable to care for themselves without a man 's presence even though they take care of more items around the house than the men do. Showing the feminism in the novel this way, indicates to modern readers how far society has progressed. Brontë displays feminism in the novel also by portraying women as unable to handle the truth. When Heathcliff came back to the Grange for a surprise, Nelly states ‘“How will she take it?’ I exclaimed. ‘What will she do? The surprise bewilders me-it will put her out of her head!”’ (Brontë, 93). This passage shows that they patronize the young women of that time, hiding truths that they think may upset them. This causes problems because these women …show more content…
Brontë published the novel in 1847 with a majority of the novel taking place in the early 1800’s. She passed away shortly after the novel was published making her only 40 years old. She grew up during the romantic era which is why her writing style has romantic elements. The feminist aspects of the novel are placed there because the romantic era leaned on the human condition and the human experience. Brontë depicted the human condition by highlighting the female oppression aspects of life and depicted how difficult it was on the soul of young girls who wanted to run free. Post modern readers are able to feel these issues and live this experience of romantic feminism because of Brontë’s work. Nevertheless, it is important to interpret the text more so than understand the background of the

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