Dissertation > Literature > Literary Theory > Countries in Literature

Inheritance and Transcendence of Traditional Gothic Themes in Wuthering Heights

Author TanLingZhi
Tutor LiZuoBo
School Central South University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Wuthering Heights gothic theme inheritance transcendence
CLC I561.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Emily Bronte is one of the most famous British writers in the19th century, her masterpiece Wuthering Heights is considered to be a classic gothic novel. In this novel, Emily adopts two traditional gothic themes—revenge and striving for succession, and depicts these themes by using gothic artistic methods. Besides inheriting the two gothic themes, Emily transcends the everlasting gothic theme—the conflicts between good and evil, and makes an attempt to explore the truest and the most natural human nature.Apart from the introduction and the conclusion, this thesis is divided into three chapters. The first chapter explores inheritance of the theme of revenge from the traditional gothic literature in Wuthering Heights, which is mainly concentrated on the description of the protagonist Heathcliff who has strong feelings of revenge and takes crazy revenge on Earnshaw family and Linton family with cruel and violent means. In the second chapter, the author attempts to reveal Emily’s inheritance of the theme of striving for succession on the basis of analyzing the traditional gothic theme of striving for succession. Through playing tricks in gamble and setting marriage trap, Heathcliff successfully realizes his plunder for Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. The last chapter probes into transcendence of the eternal gothic theme of the conflicts between good and evil in Wuthering Heights, which is reflected in the description of the union between Heathcliff and Catherine, and the union between Hareton and Cathy.Through the detailed analysis of Emily Bronte’s inheritance and transcendence of the traditional gothic themes in Wuthering Heights, the author of the thesis investigates how the traditional gothic novels influence Emily’s literary creation, and hopes that this thesis can draw more attention from the academias and readers to conduct more researches on the gothic themes in Wuthering Heights.

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