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An Evangelican Review of Wuthering Heights

A literary review of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights written in an Evangelican perspective

While this novel Wuthering Heights, exhibits creativity of the author, Emily Bronte, overall it exhibits moral degradation and is lacking of good Christian values. This novel defines the wicked acts good Christians should avoid. Violence and power struggle are key ingredients of the plot and characterization of the novel. If any moral at all can be depicted it is to see how these elements create unhappiness in the world.
The setting the author chooses reveals her dark vision. The bleak moors reflect the roughness of the novel. The weather in the moors often reflects the attitudes of the characters. The awful snowstorms create a cold and desolate atmosphere in which any wrong turn can lead to extinction. This echoes the instability of the characters. The names of the two homes in the novel, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange expose the true qualities of the characters. Wuthering Heights embodies negativity and the characters living in the home experience great amounts of suffering. Thrushcross Grange emits a more positive connotation. The characters associated with this home seem to have more of a chance of eventually developing moral decency. In the end when the two homes are combined I hope that the small amount of positive attributes that the Thrushcross Grange holds will prevail.
The plot revolves around an intense power struggle leading to a vicious cycle of crime and punishment. Each character lacks respect for the others, their greatest concern their own self-interests. Every character lacks in the virtue of honesty. The character Heathcliff exemplifies this through his lack of concern for manners or consideration for others. Isabella Linton illustrates the lack of freedom or respect the characters have when she goes to live with Heathcliff at Wuthering Heights. We see her give up the standards of a lady like upbringing to ensure her survival in the household. Even characters that appear to be peaceful and loving like Edgar Linton seem to succumb to the harmful effects of immortality.
Joseph, a servant in the homes, appears to be the most religious character. He prays and fasts regularly, which shows his respect for the Lord and his teachings. He attempts to spread the word of God through preaching to the other characters. Joseph demonstrates Christian values through hard work, yet he shows disobedience and disrespect for his master.
In the second half of the novel we see Cathy grow from a happy and innocent young lady to a malicious and eternally angry woman after her marriage to Linton. Although these characteristics place Cathy into the same negative category of the other characters this humbling is necessary for Cathy to see the good in Hareton. Her suffering is ennobling for her character and leads to what I can see as the only remotely good part of the novel. When Heathcliff is introduced into the Earnshaw family he brings a great deal of destruction and immorality that will only be destroyed when he and all of his heirs are extinct. Although the memory of Heathcliff and his heirs will always be prevalent, it may be possible for Cathy and Hareton see the negativity he brought into everyone?s lives and look to God to change the ways set by their ancestors. Although I see that a change in virtue may be possible in the end, I question whether the characters will ever achieve any worth while good in the world.

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