Wuthering Heights Intro and Questions TOTAL NOTES

Wuthering Heights Intro and Questions TOTAL NOTES -...

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Introduction to Wuthering Heights (from Penguin) Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë's only novel, an impassioned, spellbinding tale considered to be one of the greatest literary works of all time. The story—as turbulent as its title suggests—transports the reader to the North Yorkshire moors to witness the drama of the Earnshaws and the Lintons, and the volatile, yet spiritual, relationship of Catherine and Heathcliff. Wuthering Heights was first published in December 1847 under the pseudonym Ellis Bell with 250 copies printed. The novel met with harsh reactions from readers and critics who saw it as depressing and morose, and even immoral. The Examiner called it "a strange book. ..wild, confused, disjointed and improbable; and the people who make up the drama. ..are savages ruder than those who lived before Homer." Paterson’s magazine (U.S.) advised, "Read Jane Eyre … but burn Wuthering Heights ." This strong reaction was due in part to the book's intense examination of the human spirit. Readers accustomed to novels such as those by Jane Austen, published thirty-five years before, sought a realistic portrayal of the mores and manners of the English upper classes. Wuthering Heights , in contrast, focused not on society, but on the minds, hearts, and souls of its members. Prior to the publication of Wuthering Heights , Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë had published a volume of poetry under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell; Charlotte's Jane Eyre had also been published. Confusion arose as to the identities of the Bells, and it was even thought that they might have been one person. Wuthering Heights was believed by some to have been written by the same author who had penned Jane Eyre . Despite the reasons for which Wuthering Heights was not valued in its own time, it has since been recognized as a work of extraordinary talent, elegance, and genius. One writer, Joyce Carol Oates, best summed up its power by calling Wuthering Heights an "anomaly, a sport, a freak in its own time, it can be seen by us, in ours, as brilliantly of that time--and contemporaneous with our own." About Emily Brontë Emily Brontë lived most of her life in England on the North Yorkshire moors like those depicted in Wuthering Heights . Not many details are known about her life. As one Brontë scholar stated, "Next to her genius, the most astonishing thing about Emily Brontë is the silence which surrounds her life." Charlotte Brontë declared that Emily's "disposition was not naturally gregarious; circumstances favored and fostered her tendency to seclusion; except to go to church or take a walk on the hills, she seldom crossed the threshold of home. Though her feeling for the people [all around] was benevolent, intercourse with them was never sought; nor, with very few exceptions, ever experienced." Emily Jane was the fifth of six children born to the Reverend Patrick and Maria Brontë on July 30, 1818, in the village of Bradford, Yorkshire. Three years after Emily was born, her mother died of cancer, the first of
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several tragedies that would befall the Brontë family. Just before Emily's sixth birthday, she and her older
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Wuthering Heights Intro and Questions TOTAL NOTES -...

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