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Jane Eyre Vs Wuthering Heights

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1704 words Published: 24th Jul 2017

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The Bronte sisters definitely played a major role in the English literature. They wrote in a style which is called Gothic fiction or sometimes Gothic Horror, this style is an extension of the Romantic Movement. The Bronte family had six children, Charlotte was the third child, and Emily was the fifth child in the family of Bronte. They novels were admitted as sensational and now they count as a part of the English Classicism Literature. ‘Jane Eyre’ is the most famous novel of Charlotte Bronte and one of the most famous novels in Great Britain. The novel reflects perfectly the fundamental relationships of the society of that time in Great Britain. Passion, search for love and family, differences between social classes and role of the women in society of that time, all is included. ‘Wuthering Heights’ is Emily’s Bronte only novel, which tells about passions which can rise in the heart of lovers, about how circumstances may change the way of life and what is most important, it is a portrait of woman’s heart.

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‘Jane Eyre’ is a novel written by Charlotte Bronte which was published for the first time in 1847. It tells a story about a young girl Jane, which had lost her parents in the early childhood. Because of that, she must life with her aunt and cousins, the Reeds, at the Gates head Hall. They treat this innocent orphan very badly. Later on, Jane finishes a religious boarding school for orphans, after that she works as a teacher for two more years, until she is eighteen years old. At eighteen she decides to leave the institution and begins to work as a governess. Her duty now is to watch after a little French girl, Adele Varens, at a country house called Thornfield. At Thornfield she meets Mr. Rochester and they both fall in love with each other. All is going well, but Mr. Rochester has some dark secrets from his past. At the day when Mr. Rochester and Jane should marry, two men arrive at the church and claim, that he is already married. Mr. Rochester tries to explain, that his wife is not mentally normal and that his father made him to marry her, because of the family’s money. However, Jane refuses to listen and runs away from him. With no money for existence she almost dies, however a kind Rivers family finds her and provides a shelter for her. Later on it turns out, that Rivers siblings are actually her cousins. They live quite well, but then St. John (her cousin) offers her to marry him and travel to India as missioners. Jane almost agrees, but then one night, she sees a dream where Mr. Rochester is calling her from the void. After this strange dream, she decides to visit Thornfield. As she goes there, she finds out, that the house has been burnt to the ground, and that Mr. Rochester, while trying to save his mad wife from the fire has lost one eye, one hand and is blind. Jane now finds Mr. Rochester, he tells how hard he tried to find her and could not succeed in it. She offers her help as a housekeeper or a nurse, but deep inside she wants, that Mr. Rochester offer her to marry him. After a short period he does so, they have a quiet wedding and after several years, his vision is gradually turning back to him.

‘Wuthering Heights’ is a gothic novel written by Emily Bronte and it is her only work. It was first published in 1847. The story is set in Yorkshire moors, in winter 1801 a man named Lockwood in the search of solitude rents a country house called Thrushcross Grange. Here he finds out about his landlord and neighbour, Heathcliff a man who lives in exaltation. Nelly Dean is the housekeeper of Thrushcross Grange, and Lockwood asks her to tell the story of Heathcliff. Nelly starts her story with remembering her childhood; when she worked as a young girl at Wuthering Heights as a servant girl for Earnshaw’s family. Once Mr. Earnshaw left his family, because of the business in Liverpool, he returns back home with an orphan boy. At first Mr. Earnshaw children, that is Hindley and Catherine hates the dark hair orphan, but soon Catherin feels love for young Heathcliff and they start to spend all their time together. However, Hindley feels nothing, but disgust and hate to Heathcliff. Later on, Mr. Earnshaw’s wife dies and as time is passing Mr. Earnshaw starts to prefer Heatchcliff over his own child. He even sends Hindley away to the college. Passes three more years, and death takes away Mr. Earnshaw. As Mr. Earnshaw dies, Hindley returns to Wuthering Heights from his banishment. He returns with his wife, Frances, and immediately starts his revenge on Heathcliff. Hindley forces Heathcliff to work on fields as a common worker. Catherine still feels love for Heathcliff. One day they both decide to visit Linton family, who inhabited Thrushcross Grange at that time. As they approach Thrushcross Grange, the dogs come out and Catherine is bitten by one of them. Linton’s take her to their house, however Heathcliff leaves it immediately. Because of injuries, she is forced to stay at Thrushcross Grange. She stays there for almost five weeks and during that time Mrs. Linton, who feels interest for Catherine Earnshaw, teaches her how to behave properly and how to be a lady. Another thing is that as Catherine returns to Wuthering Heights, she is already charmed by Edgar, the son of the Linton family and her relationship with Heathcliff, becomes much more complicated. Soon, another tragedy happens in Wuthering Heights, Frances (Hindley’s wife) dies when giving birth to a son. After this happens, Hindley starts to abuse alcohol and his attitude towards other people in Wuthering Heights change dramatically, and the most cruelty and rage is turned against Heathcliff. Catherine after inhabiting Linton’s house for almost five weeks and meeting Edgar Linton, feels need for social status improvement and becomes engaged with Edgar. Heathcliff banishes himself from Wuthering Heights for three years. As he returns, Catherine and Edgar are already married. Heathcliff feels rage and is full of hate; moreover he has a mysterious fortune in his hands. Hindley is continuing abuse the alcohol and Heathcliff is lending money to him without any mercy, knowing that it will increase Hindley’s total debts. Hindley dies. Heathcliff buys Wuthering Heights and marries Isabella Linton, so he can become a master of Thrushcross Grange. He treats Isabella very cruelly after the marriage. Meanwhile, Catherine gives birth to a beautiful daughter, also named Catherine, and dies during the childbirth. Heathcliff feels desperate and crushed; he begs Catherine to remain on Earth and be with him. Isabella goes to London and gives birth to a son of Heathcliff and stays there. Nelly Dean serves as a nurse of Heathcliff’s daughter for thirteen years at Thrushcross Grange. After thirteen years, Isabella dies and her son is forced to move to Wuthering Heights to live with his father, that is Heathcliff. After three years, young Catherine meets Hareton (Hindley’s son) near the moors of Wuthering Heights. Later on she decides to visit the estate and meets a young Linton. They both begin romance in letters, however this romance is not real, Heathcliff forces Catherine to write to Linton, because of hope, that she will marry him, so he could claim all rights on Thrushcross Grange. Later on Edgar falls ill and is near to death; Heathcliff steals Nelly Dean and Catherin; until Catherin agrees to marry young Linton. Soon after their marriage Edgar dies, and soon after that, the death takes away young Linton as well. Heathcliff now becomes a master of both estates. Catherine is all alone and Heathcliff makes her life in Wuthering Heights as a nightmare. At this point Nelly’s story ends and reaches the present moment, when Lockwood arrived. Lockwood shocked ends his visit in Thrushcross Grange and turns back to London. After the six months Lockwood decides to make a second visit. There he finds out, that Heathcliff has died one night. Also, Catherine lives and feels interest for Haerton, even though at first she made a laugh at his appearance and illiteracy. Later on Lockwood decides to visit the grave of Catherine and Heathcliff.


Definitely more mysterious mood and plot is in ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Jane Eyre’ do not show so many mysteries in its plot. However, in ‘Jane Eyre’ Jane sees a dream where Mr. Rochester is calling her from the abyss, same is in ‘Wuthering Heights’ also, after reading strange letters in Heathcliff’s house Lockwood sees a ghost. If look at ‘Wuthering Heights’ one can see that work is written according to restrictions of time, place and manner. However, if place and manner is included in this work, the restriction of time is not, because the events take more than 24 hours until the culmination of the drama. Contrary, ‘Jane Eyre’ does not follow these three restrictions. As for drama, ‘Wuthering Heights’ definitely outscores ‘Jane Eyre’, more events happens in the first novel, even though they are all around the estate. What is similar in both stories is ‘happy end’, if we look at ‘Jane Eyre’ Mr. Rochester marries Jane, however he is invalid and his vision is damaged. In ‘Wuthering Heights’, Haerton and Catherine also at the end live together and plan to marry, but we cannot say that it is a happy end of the story, because so many deaths happened during the storyline. Another similarity of these two stories is their semantic similarity. During my research, I pointed out, that for both stories semantic fields would be as follows: death, marriage, family life. And for conclusion, one more similarity can be distinguished, Jane becomes an orphan and Heathcliff was brought to ‘Wuthering Heights’ as also as an orphan.


Probably, if one will read at least one of the two discussed works and will like it, he will read the other offered work by Bronte family as well. Both works are rich with context, which describes the way of life during the 19th century.


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