Evaluation of wuthering heights

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Evaluation of Wuthering Heights
Evaluation of Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights is a very Victorian novel, which includes gothic elements and,
also, displays the social structure of England in that time. Many aspects of English way of life
can be examined throughout the novel, all of which are true to its time period, of course. The
biggest one being the moody atmosphere as England has usually cloudy or rainy weather.
Every aspect around the author somehow affects the author, availing him to show his culture
and lifestyle. That is mostly the reason why we have so many different literatures even in the
same country but in different time periods. Wuthering Heights is one the best examples for
this situation. It clearly shows the way of life through a perspective of a contemporary. One of
the biggest things that affected England at that time was the class system. According to this
system, there were three classes which are aristocracy, upper middle class, and lower class.
This state is observed in the novel which allows the reader to feel in those times. The novel
also includes the theorem of “Social Darwinism” implementing it to the class system present
at that moment. The aim of this paper is to evaluate and show those aspects of Wuthering
Heights which make this work a classic of Victorian Literature.
As a part of Victorian Literature, Wuthering Heights has many gothic elements in it.
The most obvious one is basically the title itself, Wuthering Heights… It foreshadows all the
gothic elements by setting the ground with a moody title. The word “wuthering” is a powerful
adjective which creates the illusion of a depressed and scary meaning. Apart from the moody
meaning the title carries it is also connected to one of the main places in the novel, which
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evokes the association of the dark mood and the place the story takes place. This gives
example to the time’s settlement style, which was big mansions. Bronte reflected the society
greatly in this sense.
The reflection of society does not end there, though. The class structure is also
reflected in the novel skilfully. As seen in the case of Mr. Heathcliff, he starts the novel as a
lost child who is brought to a mansion to be raised. In the class structure, the initial position of
him is lower class, but he then gains the legacy and moves quickly to upper classes. This is
one of the examples to the capitalism-based class structure of England. “He is a darkskinned
gipsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman” (Bronte 6). Although he has a dark skin
tone which is normally a sign of lower classes, he is in a higher role for he has lots of money.
This is actually what the class system in England represented in those times: one should earn
as much as one can in order to move to upper classes and get more value in the eyes of both
government and people.
The sociological position was based on income in those times. And the rich could do
basically anything they want just because they had lots of money and income. This led to the
idea of “Social Darwinism”, which is basically a wrong interpretation of Darwinist ideas:
“survival of the strongest”. This thought had spread all over the England those times and had
a lot of value and power when it came to the structure of society.
The architecture is also reflected in the novel as the types of mansions are
characteristically Victorian. The designs of both the inside and outside of the houses clearly
reflects the Victorian architecture. In this sense, the author implemented the environment
greatly into her novel. The accents of some characters are also reflected in the novel very
well. “‘What are ye for?’ he shouted. ‘T’ maister’s down i’ t’ fowld. Go round by th’ end o’ t’
laith, if ye went to spake to him.’” (Bronte 12). Different cultures are represented equally in
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detail, and this can be seen throughout the novel. The author did a great job conveying
different cultures in her novel.
Bronte also puts emphasis on the phycological effects of the class system which
differentiates people based on nothing but material values. She conveys this by establishing a
love between two impossible lover, Heathcliff and Catherine. They could not meet just
because of a difference in their classes at first. This connects to only one thing that is present
in England in those times, which is, of course, the class system. The system is so accepted that
everybody thinks one should marry someone who is in an either equal or higher class.
In conclusion, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte represents the Victorian society in
a very realistic and true way. It conveys the values of the people of those times. To the extent
of social and political structure, the novel shows the great values of those times which are
mainly the class system, hence, Social Darwinism, actually the usage of the misinterpretation.
The setting has lots of gothic elements which is, also, one of the characteristics of Victorian
Literature. The characters are well organised and serves the purpose of the story which is to
narrate the life in Victorian Period. The novel also puts emphasis on the discourse of money
and how it is used to classify people. The system, capitalism, on which England is built on is
shown clearly in the work and this enables the novel to show the class system more clearly via
describing it with a strong base. Wuthering Heights is a great work in case of conveying the
socio-cultural and socio-political structure of the time’s England.
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Works Cited and Reffered
Aydın, Suavi. “The Misuse and Abuse of Darwinian Concepts in Social Theory (or Was
Darwin a Social Darwinist?).” HACETTEPE JOURNAL of BIOLOGY and
CHEMISTRY, vol. 38, no. 3, 2010, pp. 177–192.
Baysal, Alev. Batı Edebiyatında Kahraman. Denizli, Pamukkale Üniversitesi, 2010, pp. 13–
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. 1847. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2008.
Karaduman, Alev. “The Changing Social Scene in 19th Century England: The Victorian
Novel Revisited in Terms of Maxist Ideology.” Ideology in Western Literature, no. 1,
Mercurio, Marisa. “The Radical Politics of Wuthering Heights – Journal of Victorian Culture
Online.” Oup.com, 24 Mar. 2020, jvc.oup.com/2020/03/24/the-radical-politics-ofwuthering-heights/.
“Wuthering Heights as Socio-Economic Novel.” Academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu, 2011,

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