By Emily Brontë, Editorial Oneness (Edited by)
About the Author
Emily Brontë (1818–1848) was an English novelist and poet, and perhaps the greatest of the world-famous Brontë sisters whose novels are considered classics in nineteenth century fiction. Their works still intrigue fans today, more than 150 years after they were first published. Emily was a reserved character and didn’t leave much in the way of correspondence to illuminate her life, but she loved her home in the moorlands of Yorkshire. Her poetry was revered for its poetic genius and her novel Wuthering Heights, published in 1847, is accepted as one of the greatest works in the English language.
Judith John (Glossary) is a writer and editor specializing in literature and history. A former secondary school English Language and Literature teacher, she has subsequently worked as an editor on major educational projects, including English A: Literature for the Pearson International Baccalaureate series. Judith’s major research interests include Romantic and Gothic literature, and Renaissance drama.
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Excerpted from "Wuthering Heights"
Copyright © 2012 Emily Bronte.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
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Table of Contents
Note on the Text
A Chronology of Emily Brontë
Biographical Notice of Ellis and Acton Bell
Edito's Preface to the New Edition
Extract from the Prefatory Note to 'Selections from Poems by Ellis Bell'
Selected Poems by Emily Brontë
Reading Group Guide
1. To what extent do you think the setting of the novel contributes to, or informs, what takes place? Do you think the moors are a character in their own right? How do you interpret Bronte's view of nature and the landscape?
2. Discuss Emily Bronte's careful attention to a rigid timeline and the role of the novel as a sober historical document. How is this significant, particularly in light of the turbulent action within? What other contrasts within the novel strike you, and why? How are these contrasts important, and how do they play out in the novel?
3. Do you think the novel is a tale of redemption, despair, or both? Discuss the novel's meaning to you. Do you think the novel's moral content dictates one choice over the other?
4. Do you think Bronte succeeds in creating three-dimensional figures in
Heathcliff and Cathy, particularly given their larger-than-life metaphysical passion? Why or why not?
5. Discuss Bronte's use of twos: Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange; two families, each with two children; two couples (Catherine and Edgar, and Heathcliff and Isabella); two narrators; the doubling-up of names. What is Bronte's intention here? Discuss.
6. How do Mr. Lockwood and Nelly Dean influence the story as narrators? Do you think they are completely reliable observers? What does Bronte want us to believe?
7. Discuss the role of women in Wuthering Heights. Is their depiction typical of Bronte's time, or not? Do you think Bronte's characterizations of women mark her as a pioneer ahead of her time or not?
8. Who or what does Heathcliff represent in the novel? Is he a force of evil or a victim of it? How important is the role of class in the novel, particularly as it relates to Heathcliff and his life?