Wuthering Heights Stereotypes

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The stereotyping of the female population is a reoccurring thematic element throughout numerous renowned pieces of literature. In the 1800s, fictional characters that were created to undermine the female stereotype were not accepted in literature. Emily Brontë, shadowed behind the name of Ellis Bell, displayed underlying elements of feminist literature conveyed through the female characters and the roles they play. In the novel Wuthering Heights, the female characters are troubled with immense levels of passion in the way they interact with the ideas of love, hardship and loss. Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Brontë, uncovers the true image of the female characters as they undermine the social stereotype. Cathy, Nelly and Isabella are among…show more content…
Brontë intelligently elected to represent the gender of the narrator as a female to demonstrate the larger idea that women should not be characterized by a stereotype. As the narrator, Nelly is given power over the story and the events that occurred at the Grange and at Wuthering Heights. Although it is left ambiguous, some lines of Nelly’s story appear to be biased favoring certain characters over others. In the beginning of the novel when Lockwood arrives at the Grange he meets Nelly. Nelly begins retelling the events from the years leading up to present day. She characterizes Catherine as stubborn and selfish because of the way Catherine had treated her in earlier years. Catherine hit and pinched Nelly, which lead to the bias of Catherine’s character from Nelly. Another case where Nelly demonstrates power is over Lockwood, the tenant staying at the Grange. At the end of the novel, Nelly makes the young Cathy seem like the victim of the story. She uses pathos to evoke pity from Lockwood to make him feel as if he should do something to help her escape the horrors of Wuthering Heights. Nelly forcefully attempts to put the idea into Lockwood’s head that he could be the hero who saves Cathy from the nightmares at the Heights while also saving himself. “‘What a realization of something more romantic than a fairy tale it would have been for Mrs. Linton Heathcliff, had she and I struck up an attachment, as her good nurse desired, and migrated together into the stirring atmosphere of the town!’” (374). The degree of veracity of the story is questioned when studying the bias Nelly has towards the other characters. The significant amount of power over the story given to Nelly displays Brontë’s immense amount of faith in the use of female characters to dominate the
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