Gothic Characterism In Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights

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Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847) involves the themes of the supernatural, the melancholy of characters, violence, and mystery. These features allow us to locate the novel in a large tradition of Gothic narrative. Following Sigmund Freud’s essay The Uncanny, the unheimlich purports that “something should be frightening because it is unknown and unfamiliar. … Something must be added to the novel and the unfamiliar if it is to become uncanny” (Freud 124-125). The Gothic novel, then, is illuminated by unheimlich manifestations of the supernatural and the visitations of threatening spirits and ghosts. Sometimes, these ghosts are not manifested physically in the novel; they can also be ambiguously presented through the troubled mentality of the characters. As is the case in Wuthering Heights, one encounters a fascinating attraction for the mystery of human evil and the perversions of the instincts and character. In this novel, the threat of the unwelcoming spirit is best embodied in the character Heathcliff.
Heathcliff’s mysterious
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His diabolical identity fuels his insane passions, which turn out to be monumentally destructive. One should note Heathcliff’s suffering once Catherine’s death is revealed. In describing the situation to Mr. Lockwood, Nelly refers to Heathcliff not as a human, but as an animal. His suffering is so violent that he has completely transformed, not just mentally, but physically: “lifting up his eyes, [he] howled, not like a man, but like a savage beast being goaded to death with knives and spears” (Ch. XVI). This speaks to the psychological chaos in Brontë’s novel, because the continuous cycle of trauma in Heathcliff’s troubled life is what enbles him to tap into the hysteria and madness that will not just torture others, but ultimately end his

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