The Passionate Life and Death of Emily Bronte
Emily Brontë, was by all accounts an unusual character and she wrote an unusual book; 'Wuthering Heights', which as it turned out was her only book. Known to be a very aloof and introverted character, who did not like to be too far from home, Emily wrote a book that was full of monumental passions like: love, hate and revenge and yet she was the daughter of a isolated, rural clergy man, who led a sheltered life.
Eccentric Family Life
Emily Brontë (1818-1848) was the fifth of sixth children, however her mother died while she was very young. Her aunt, her mother's sister came to care for the children, which was lucky as Patrick Brontë the father seemed to be a rather odd and withdrawn man, who dined alone in his own room away from his children and supposedly shot his gun randomly from his bedroom window out at the grave yard.
At the Parsonage
Emily who loved to walk the lonely moors with her dog Keeper, also delighted at being at home, listening to Tabby, the servant tell stories about the village and the moors.
Except for a short period of schooling at the Clergy Daughter's School at Cowan Bridge and working as a governess, Emily did not venture too far from home and when she was compelled to do so, seemed to be distressed, pining for the moors and her isolated and introverted life.
Passion and Trauma
Credit: WikipediaIt is amazing that Emily could write Wuthering Heights, a book brimming with passionate love, passionate hate and relentless revenge; hardly the novel one would expect from a demure clergy man's daughter. And yet it seems, that the cliché: ''still waters run deep', applies to Emily completely.
Emily's life however, was not like one of the gentry, who were concerned with their embroidery and new hats, she had experienced intense trauma with her mother's death (probably cancer). Her beloved and only brother Branwell too had added to the families suffering, with his drug addiction, psychotic rages and various disgraces. He had however been the beloved and clever one, of a clever bunch and his demise and disgrace must have been hard blow to them all.
Dark and Brooding
The tale of Heathcliffe and Cathy is narrated by the rather insipid Mr. Lockward, or perhaps he only appears weak and unimpressive, against the backdrop of a tale seething with twisted love, passion, betrayal, revenge and jealously. Heathcliffe is a curious character and although he is undoubtedly fascinating, I find I can not quite like him.
The reader may also often wonder, whether Heathcliff is man or devil and how Catherine could so love a man, who is violent and can so easily torture animals. Heathcliffe is a dark demonic loner, a 'gipsy' and an 'imp of Satan'; nobody even knows where he came from and what 'gibberish' he speaks. And yet Heathcliffe does transform into a 'a tall, athletic, well-formed man', but his black heart is still there, he just hides it better.
'Wuthering Heights' is a Gothic novel, permeated with supernatural elements. We wonder, as does Nelly, whether Heathcliffe is a vampire or ghoul. And the house at Wuthering Heights, seems to be a haunted house. And there is also the very strong suggestion, that Cathy's ghost cavorts freely on the moors with Heathcliffe after her death.
Interestingly, although Healthcliffe and Cathy seem to have a boundless and extreme love, it seems to bring them deep pain, at least while they are alive. However death seems to bring them closer and ironically, as Heathcliffe approaches death and anticipates reconciling with Cathy, he somehow becomes more human.
"If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it."
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