Essay Example on The first author of the gothic novel 1764








The first author of the gothic novel 1764 and the founder of this genre is Horace Walpole The meaning of the word gothic initially refered to something barbarous or to the violent and to wild customs from the Middle Ages Nowadays the definion of a gothic novel has changed its main traits being the supernatural elements mystery horror passion and others Other important characterisic is the way the characters are created Comparing to the early gothic novels where the distinctions between the villan and the hero was very clear the modern ones combine them The protagonist of the novel the hero is mostly evil yet sometimes moral traits can be spotted The difference between the two is ambiguous thus it cannot be concluded whether the character is good or bad The villan hero character s purpose is to challenge the ordinary person The Gothic influence was felt in the Victorian period through the writings of several authors Emily Bronte being one of them In my essay I will analyse the way the characteristics of the Gothic genre are reflected in the novel Wuthering Heights The authors s writing is the tale of a tragic love that consists of multiple gothic elements

As mentioned above the villan hero character is a main element which has the role to drive the story forward In the novel this characters is depicted by Heathclif a dark skined boy who was brought in the land of Wuthering Heights by a humble and softharted man Mr Earnshaw He spent his childhood there being tortured by Hindley who used to behave rudely with him until his death Both Heathclif and Catherine his sister with whom he was in love were anti Victorian characters because they weren t respecting the social laws They were incestuous passionate unrestrained and violent thus their characters reflect the typical gothic characteristics Most of Heathclif s evil actions his desire to revenge that extends to the next generation to destroy all of those who made their love impossible are a result of his unfulfilled love with Catherine However at the end of the story his evil side ceases to exist and he provides a happy ending for the plot allowing Cathy and Hareton to be together This change is a proof of his moral traits thus not allowing us to demonstrate that he was a villan or not Another element is the location where the action takes place

The farmhouse is placed on the top of a hill in a vast moorland where it stands isolated reflecting the sadness and misery of its inhabitants The weather is most of the times stormy rainy and untamed The night Heathcliff run away and after Catherine's death there was a violent storm suggesting that everything is interconnected reflecting characters mood states of mind or feelings The dark atmosphere is emphasized by the the house itself whose unwelcoming exterior had the purpose to keep people away and the interior which was old fashioned where Heathcliff is violent dogs were always in ready to assault anyone Violence is a powerful trait of the genre and it's widely present in the novel Hindley aggressive behaviour towards Heathcliff that provokes the birth of the evil in the protagonist his obsession to destroy Edgar Linton his ill treat of both Cathy and Hareton his lack of care for his wife and others Violence is Heathcliff a weapon against those who hurt him when he was a child and had no power nor did he possessed anything According to the traits of gothic genre Heathcliff's violence is meant to induce terror in the reader and therefore to challenge him her to question the morality of its characters Ann Radcliffe says that horrific things explicitly but only suggests them which should help the readers to be more alert to the possibility of things beyond their everyday life and understanding Supernatural features are a part of the novel and they appear at the very beginning when Lockwood gets stuck in the Wuthering Heights due to a storm he sleeps in the old room of Catherine and wakes up from a nightmare at the sound of tree branches tapping the window where he seemingly sees the ghost of Catherine Beside that there are other supernatural events that take place after the death of Heathclif Joseph a religious man who is actually selfish and not a good

Christian claims to have seen the ghost of the two protagonists wander the moor during rainy day And so does a young shepherd who expresses his fear to Nelly an old servant but she refuses to believe Author's use of the ghosts has the purpose to awaken our imagination and creativity trying to reflect and think to the countless possibilities that there can be things events that go beyond our understanding And through the use of these features Emily Brontes encourages us to escape from reality and to abandon ourselves in a new strange and dark world that can only change us for the better the same way Heathcliff's violent behaviour made Isabelle a stronger and more determined person In conclusion due to the presence of the villain hero character who doesn't allow us to say whether he is evil or not the supernatural elements violence that is ever there the location that reflects the sadness anger and hatred toward one another the novel Wuthering Heights is a gothic novel

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