Blogging Time!

Blogging. What a horrible-sounding word. But anyway, we’re going to start it.

I think you know how it works: You take a topic discussed in class or from your own reading and extend it, responding in a series of five (5) posts. Those written should be between 200-300 words. If you do more than five (5) (which I would recommend), the best five will make up your grade.

Marking is as follows: Great (5/5), Good (4/5), Satisfactory (3/5), Substandard (1-2/5); Late is a 0.

Go, write, and be jolly.

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10 Comments

Filed under Novel: Wuthering Heights

10 responses to “Blogging Time!

  1. tiffany

    Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights” is a romantic novel that fascinates me. The characters are of intriguing personalities, and the intense ferocity of the love that is on the brink of obsession between Heathcliff and Catherine contains a unique rawness that is further enhanced by the tumultuous weather of the moors of Wuthering Heights. The usage of weather by Bronte to evoke a specific mood, that is, pathetic fallacy, is also quite prominent, as well as the theme of man being close to nature, both of which are two themes that are characteristic of the Romantic period. One character I found interesting is Hareton. Lockwood, by describing Hareton in his own personal perspective, also reveals his true character. Lockwood describes Hareton mockingly, to the point of being spiteful and repulsive. He even compares Hareton to his own self, therefore revealing that he does have a little conceit in him, for he states that he will cause the young Cathy, whom he thought was Hareton’s wife, to regret her choice of marrying him just by he, Lockwood, being there. He also goes further in that he states that compared to Hareton, he looks attractive. Lockwood is seen to be considerably repulsed by Hareton’s unruly and ‘rustic’ appearance, as he described it, as well as his lack of manners. Even so, Lockwood will have to get used to the absence of proper etiquette that is also characteristic of the Romantic period in Wuthering Heights, for everyone is rarely seen to be speaking polite, refined language and instead almost everyone is seen to swear, threaten violently and reply to his utterances with utmost inhospitableness and even spite. Like the violent and wild weather of the moors, the inhabitants of the Heights were even more insolent. Hareton, who Lockwood describes as being rustic and servant looking but acts like a free man, with an air of haughtiness, causes some degree of discomfort to Lockwood. When Hareton declared himself to be himself, and whose name Lockwood recognises as the owner of Wuthering Heights, as well as when he “[counseled him] to respect [his name]”, Lockwood reacted with scornful hilarity, which he wisely expressed only within himself. Hareton’s personality and coarseness can be attributed to his distorted childhood, for Hindley, his father, was a drunkard and did not care about his child, and once he nearly caused his own son’s death. Hareton was used to being hidden in a kitchen cupboard whenever his father showed up, most of the time being drunk.

  2. Jason

    Non-conformity was the first thing that came into my mind when I began reading Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights.” The fact that the characters were so different from the expected norm of the era and they did not even bother to be like the expected person of that era creates a sense of mystery. For example, Heathcliff was assumed by Lockwood to be a proper gentleman from the way he dressed, but in reality he was the opposite what he was expected to be in that era. He was crude and rough, and he did not nudge the slightest bit to try and conform to what society expects him to be. This then begs the question whether there is something present behind what it seemed; behind his bitter facade. This does not only apply to Heathcliff. A sense of eeriness and mystery also came from the family’s relationship that was so convoluted with such baffling complexity as well as the overall setting of the story. The characters in the book seemed to have a twisted passions and ancient, hidden resentment with one another. This could be seen from the arguments that they had upon simple ‘problems’ such as Lockwood wanting to find his way back home.

    The setting of the novel was also desolate, wild, and somewhat secluded from society. Indeed, the mystery of the land cannot be easily separated from the mystery of the landscape, and I believed that the physical landscape of the peculiar setting could as well reflect the people living there. This sense of unusual attributes generated from the family also led to readers questioning the family’s past. The moor in which Wuthering Heights located could also serve as a symbolism. Much of Heathcliff and Catherine’s childhood was spent playing in the moor – a wide, wet and somewhat infertile plot of land. This could easily symbolize the beginning of Heathcliff and Catherine’s uncanny love story.

    The idea of differing from the norm was also seen from the appearance of Catherine’s ghost. The time in which the book was written expects something realistic. On the contrary, Brontë somewhat blurs the line between the real world and the supernatural world by introducing Catherine Earnshaw’s ghost. Whether or not it occurred during Lockwood’s dream, as he was half asleep, was not as important as the introduction of a supernatural creature that should not even been mentioned in the first place. The appearance of Catherine’s ghost triggered a series of events, including Heathcliff’s reaction. This then again creates that sense of hidden secrets behind the family as we ponder about the relationship between Heathcliff and the late Catherine. I also believe that whether or not the ghosts are real, they ultimately symbolize this manifestation of the past within the present, and the way memory stays with people, permeating to their daily lives.

    In conclusion, I think that the fact that Emily Brontë introduces such unconventional characters and literary technique had created a sense of mystery that would pique the reader’s interest and enticed them to keep on reading the book. Whether it was the character’s attribute that was so different from the norm or the setting of the book, it help create this sense of mystery and secrecy behind the family’s – as we will soon discovery – twisted history.

  3. Caroline

    The most prominent features of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights that I noticed were the improbable circumstances and the characters’ extreme personalities. Nearly all the characters possess overly dominant personality traits that leave no room for moderation. I believe the extreme personalities were intentional, to facilitate a large, intense conflict between the characters that serves to compensate for the plot’s “flatness”.

    Despite never having been or even heard of a real-life situation like the one in Wuthering Heights, I find myself able to imagine being in the situation and relating to the characters’ emotional reactions. I am not sure why this is the case but I think that the outrageousness of the situations pale in comparison to its individual aspects; for example, Catherine and Hindley’s father does not have a reason to keep a gypsy child and favor him over his own son. Never mind why Mr. Earnshaw kept Heathcliff, I can relate to Hindley’s jealousy and subsequent hatred that emerged from his father’s actions.

    However, I relate the most to Nelly as I often find myself in a position where I am able to observe human drama closely, while silently judging or sympathizing. I have known people whose personalities are shadows of Catherine; mischievous, mean-spirited, and violent; Edgar; kind, loving, but weak; Heathcliff, one that has clearly been wronged but exacts an excessive revenge.

    My greatest confusion in Wuthering Heights is the nature of the relationship Catherine and Heathcliff share. As someone brought up in class, I think that Catherine and Heathcliff’s feelings for each other could be more accurately described as obsession. It is said to be love yet it bears no selflessness, instead the opposite. Heathcliff desires to destroy the Lintons despite knowing that Catherine needs Edgar. Catherine too, is guilty of being selfish enough to make both men fight over her. We cannot infer much more about their feelings other than that the so-called love is so strong that it lasts beyond the grave. My personal opinion is that the love is a byproduct of their turbulent childhood and the a cure for the loneliness they experienced then.

  4. Stacy :)

    This week in class we studied the context in which Wuthering Heights was written. Having been written in the Victorian period, Bronte’s narrative brings to light many aspects of the beliefs and perspective of the society at the time. After researching for our group presentations, it was easier to understand why Bronte had so many biblical allusions in her writings. At the time, Christianity was facing a somewhat turbulent time, as the theory of evolution by Darwin was published. However, his theories only influenced the upper class, as a majority of the lower class did not know how to read or write. Thus, most people remained true to their religious belief during this period. It is also interesting how Bronte actually never attended church but constantly uses biblical allusions to get her point across.
    In addition to this, Chapter 1-3 of Wuthering Heights set the overall tone of this piece of Gothic literature. The ideas of ghosts, ghouls and superstition continue to repeat. It became increasingly clear that superstition was of popular belief during the time. Many believe that the ideas of ghosts and religion acted as a ‘crutch’ for humans towards things they cannot understand.
    In terms of the story, I find Mr. Lockwood a rather peculiar character. However, it’s not like any of the other characters are conventional either. They all tend to be extremely jumpy and act on instinctive assumptions. The first three chapters of the book confused me because of the myriad of uncanny conversations that take place between the newly introduced characters.
    Also, there is also the constant usage of dreams as a literary device, where dreams seem to act as a gateway between the supernatural and the natural. The ghost of Catherine Linton, the ghost of Catherine Earnshaw, it seems as though the lines between the supernatural and the natural are somewhat blurry as well.
    Also, Bronte does a good job of using irony as a literary device. Early in the book, Bronte discusses a sermon about forgiving seven times seventy-seven. However, revenge clearly becomes a recurring and prominent theme in the overall work. There is this constant yearn to avenge the wrongdoings of the people between the Heights and the Thruschross Grange. It becomes clear at the end that this path of revenge eventually destroys the relationship of the families and led to the demise of a multitude of characters in the book. At the end, the book reminded me how forgiveness is something that we must continuously exercise. Just as Christ forgave us, we should forgive others. Otherwise, revenge can potentially lead us to our own demise. As a Christian, reading Wuthering Heights confirmed how important it is to never stop living and to keep moving forward. When the world ends God will avenge for us, so we should take a chill pill, forgive and never let bitterness overtake our lives.

  5. Karen

    There is a difference between the way things seem and the way things are. The question that comes to mind when I think of Joseph is: What sort of motivations does he have for acting religiously, and does he act this way because of reasons intrinsically holy, or does he simply wish to appear so and hence reap the benefits of being perceived as religious?
    To begin with, Joseph’s name already is a biblical allusion to Joseph, father of Jesus. Whereas the biblical Joseph is described as a faithful husband and father, the Joseph in Wuthering Heights is characterized as an overzealous man prone to condemning those he views as unholy.
    I would argue that Joseph presents a religious front not because he truly loves the Christian God, but because he desires the benefits of being perceived as religious. By acting religiously, Joseph deludes himself into believing that he has the right and the ability to condemn others. The man finds himself and his identity in accusing his fellows of ungodliness, and he justifies his accusations by trying to appear ‘holier’ than the people he condemns. Although I do believe that it is possible to love the Christian God intrinsically and not out of a need for the benefits for appearing religious, I still stand firm in my belief (no pun intended) that Joseph only acts religiously in order that he may condemn others, and in doing so feel better about his own existence.
    I find it difficult to believe that a man who truly loves the Christian God would think that he has the right to literally damn his own fellows. Unless one lives a sinless life – and I highly doubt that Joseph is sinless – one has no credibility on which one can justify such vehement condemnation of the sinful. This contrast between being religious, and seeming religious, corroborates my stance that Joseph falls into the latter – and not the former – category.

  6. Ainslie

    In class last week we started discussing the first few chapters of the novel Wuthering Heights. This part of the story still features Mr. Lockwood as the narrator, a tenant at Thrushcross Grange, owned by Heathcliff. Mr. Lockwood describes his experiences visiting Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff’s manor, particularly about the people that he meets there in addition to HEathcliff: primarily Catherine, Hareton, and Joseph. It is interesting to hear the story from his point of view, instead of from a detached perspective, but one thing that we learned in class is to take into account that it is from his perspective, and so he might have some biases in recounting his experiences there. In our group discussions, we estabished Mr. Lockwood as an ‘annoying’ type of person, since when Heathcliff evidently didn’t to want to have Mr. Lockwood back the next day, Lockwood still decided to come anyways, and he even called himself ‘sociable’ for doing so. He seems to hold himself in high esteem as well, since when he saw Hareton, he immediately felt that he was better than him, and when he thought that Catherine was married to Hareton, he felt sorry for Catherine, feeling that he was a much better man than Hareton, and that by being there he was making Catherine regret choosing Hareton. Lockwood shows some attraction towards Catherine, and because of his initial assumption, he probably considers Hareton as a rival of some sort, and this affects his perception of Hareton, so readers will probably will get more negative descriptions. I’m not saying the Hareton wasn’t a bad person, because he definitely had a pretty bad childhood, and turned out to be pretty messed up, but it is worth taking into consideration that Lockwood may have these biases.

  7. Hartini

    This week, we continued (or should I say, started?) our in-class discussions on Wuthering Heights, specifically on chapters 1-3.
    One of the discussions we had was on the significance of dreams. Personally, I don’t take dreams very seriously. However, I do believe to a considerable extent that dreams are often made up of the visual and audio manifestations of our subconscious- whether it be our deepest fears, hopes, experiences, or things that we learn about other people that we don’t really pay attention to while we’re awake. However, while I find dreams absurd for the most part, it is interesting to note that there are many realistic elements in Lockwood’s dreams. They seem to pick up details that he himself does not consciously acknowledge.
    The two main components of Lockwood’s dream would be the scene in the church, and Catherine’s ghost. Both had interesting literary implications, giving us interesting insights into book as a whole.
    For one thing, the dream about the congregation in the church was quite amusing (for its irony), as it was a part of the book that repetitively referred to forgiveness- unending forgiveness at that. It is an interesting contrast to the storyline of Wuthering Heights that is saturated with vengeance and anger. There was also a part focused on Joseph that really highlighted his self-righteous personality.
    The dream about Catherine’s ghost was even more intriguing to me. First of all, I found it difficult to identify whether Lockwood was really asleep, as he was dreaming about Catherine. The book made no clear distinction between Lockwood’s periods of consciousness and unconsciousness, which makes the situation much more eerie. I also found it difficult to understand why Lockwood’s reactions were so violent, in regards to Catherine, both within the dream and after the dream. A classmate attributed to his angry outburst after the dream as a way for him to cover up his embarrassment after being scared so horribly by a dream.
    Not only that, but I think it was also significant that Catherine appeared as a young girl- not the young woman she was when she had died. In a way, I think this signifies the time in her life that Catherine most earnestly wants to return to. That, and the way she weeps about being able to finally go home, shows to me that that point in her time was time during which she could actually change the way her life could have turned out. The last time she had a good relationship with Heathcliff was when she was a child, living in Wuthering Heights, and I believe that her appearance as a child ghost begging to return to the Heights shows that she wishes to return to her life at that point.
    Finally, it is also interesting to note how Heathcliff immediately accepts the notion of Catherine’s ghost really appearing. It supports that there is something similar about the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights- that they all have some belief and interest in the supernatural. I’m looking forward to seeing how this theme of supernatural events unfolds, especially because Wuthering Heights was written in a time where religious beliefs surged through the British people.

  8. Jesslyn

    During this hectic and tiring week of school, we in english class explored the first few chapters of the ever-enchanting Wuthering Heights. Although many of the students in class had mentioned their dislike towards the book caused by it’s gothic romance genre and twisted plot line, it is actually (with much surprise) one of my favorite books of all time – aside from Pride and Prejudice. The twisted love story, the mind boggling mystery that lies beneath the soils of Thrushcross Grange, I personally feel that Bronte had done a tremendous job, creating a story that not only was an enticing read to it’s readers, but also conveyed a mysterious love story like no other. In the first few chapters, the story consists of Mr. Lockwood, the new tenant in Wuthering Heights being introduced to Heathcliff, owner of the place. The cold and harsh stature of Heathcliff in the very beginning had for a moment made Mr. Lockwood hesitate to come back the next day, however curiosity seemed to have said otherwise. Mr. Lockwood, persistent and ever so curious, came back to Wuthering Heights the next day and was given the chance of meeting Catherine, Heathcliff’s daughter in law, whom he had previously wrongly guessed to be Heathcliff’s wife. The story in the following few chapters up to the third had talked about Lockwood’s rather terrifying and traumatizing experience in the guest bedroom with the presence of the ghost of the late Catherine – or in other words Heathcliff’s soul and life. Although details have not been conveyed quite yet regarding Heathcliff and the Catherine’s love story, the upcoming chapters are filled with appearances from Catherine, and the Heathcliff’s remembrance of his undying love for her. Although I have read this book quite a number of times before, I am quite excited to be able to browse through it more thoroughly together with the class, hopefully being able to understand the twisted love story all the more deeply.

    • Mikey

      In Chapter 4, the novel began discussing the previous family history of the Earnshaw family.
      I was quite intrigued when Mr. Earnshaw decided to bring home a homeless child after his business trip.
      Mr. Earnshaw stated that he felt great pity for the boy, and wished to bring him home to his estate.
      However, the adopted child, which was to be known as Heathcliff, did not cooperate well with the biological son Hindley. The Father tended to favour Heathcliff, and not Hindley. This caused great tension between the two boys growing up. I still wonder why Mr. Earnshaw chose to bring home the stranger kid. Was it to only enlighten the little child’s life? Or was it to enrich his own family with the presence of a poor slum kid? Unfortunately, Heathcliff only caused a strained relationship to occur between Hindley and his father.
      Another point I would like to discuss is Catherine’s relationship with Heathcliff. Even as kids, Catherine could not be separated from Heathcliff’s company. Catherine also began to be influenced by Heathcliff, eventually becoming a rebel in the family. Whether or not her rebel characteristic was a result of direct influence from Heathcliff, or from her natural qualities, is to be determined. This rebellious streak in Catherine caused her dad to dislike her. He even mentions himself that he would only love her if she changed her disposition. Mr. Earnshaw even goes as far as to say that he would rather prefer her never born due to her insolence. This only hurt Catherine’s feelings, which caused her to grow colder from her Dad and from other relationships she had with people as well. Instead, Catherine choose to laugh of any pain she received later on in life as a way to combat the sick feeling of emotional pain.

  9. Karen

    The names of characters in Wuthering Heights are so similar, you wonder if there’s significance to it. It’s not as if there was a shortage of names in the 1800s. Bronte could have easily named her characters differently so as to set them apart, but she chose not to. I would argue that names possess an importance beyond that of simple identification. As the novel progresses and the third generations of Lintons and Earnshaws begin to exhibit characteristics comparable to those displayed by the second generation of characters, names have come to represent certain qualities of personality.
    The Earnshaws can easily be described as impetuous and passionate, born of earthy dispositions and favoring – if one believes in Plato’s Tripartite Soul – ‘Appetite’ over ‘Reason’. The Lintons, in opposition, are creatures of mild temperament, docile, and if one were critical, quite cowardly.
    The contrast between the name Linton and Earnshaw can be seen best in the contrast between Catherine Linton and Catherine Earnshaw. The daughter displays a milder temperament than her mother due to her being half Linton, yet she is still in full possession of the strength and the fire associated with the name ‘Catherine’.
    Linton Heathcliff, unfortunately, inherits the worst qualities associated with both names. He possesses the cowardice and the weakness of the Lintons, coupled with the rage and the haughtiness of Heathcliff.
    One could dismiss such nomenclature as coincidence, casting its significance aside as a result of Bronte’s ‘lack of genius’, as some critics were wont to do, or one could choose to see Bronte’s purpose in naming her characters as something greater than simple identification. Since I highly doubt that naming of characters requires excessive genius, I will stand firm in my stance that nomenclature in Wuthering Heights goes far beyond simplicity, reaching instead to an intricate world where names seem to possess a powerful force of their own.

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