Theme explanation in Bronte's "Wuthering Heights"

Essay by AgeVIRacerHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2003

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In Bronte's, Wuthering Heights, the first chapter is a mixture of three dominant themes that are apparent throughout the novel. The themes of mystery, atmosphere and character attitude, are all set in the first chapter. The first chapter introduces themes and dominant elements that are displayed in every character during most of the work, and uses the most representative character, Heathcliff, to set the stage for what is to come. During the first scene at Wuthering Heights, the mystery of the moor and estate in general, the atmosphere of a dark, weathering house, and the attitude displayed by Heathcliff are all significant and representative of the characters and mood throughout the work.

The opening chapter is described by Mr. Lockwood as he visits Wuthering Heights. The house is described to have a very mysterious feel. In particular, the sign above the door reading "1500- Hareton Earnshaw" and the shallowness of Heathcliff's actions were very mysterious to Lockwood.

This mysteriousness is true of the whole estate and its inhabitants, and leads to many awkward situations between characters. Catherine, the soul mate of Heathcliff, made a strange decision when marrying Edgar Linton and gave a vague reason as to her decision. Catherine's marriage to Edgar was improper in her eyes, but she could not marry Heathcliff because, "Hindley has degraded him so much that I cannot possibly marry him." There is no real explanation to why Catherine never married Heathcliff, but there are rather mysterious circumstances, such as Catherine's professed love for Heathcliff and the fact that she sees it that, "I have no more business marrying Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven." The actions of Hindley Earnshaw are very intriguing because he is very unpredictable. After the death of his wife Frances, Hindley becomes especially...