Stephanie Verhoff

Professor Sutton-Ramspeck

English 564.02

11 March 2005

Wild versus Domestic: Narrative Structure, Doubling, and Romance in Wuthering Heights

            The ending of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights has been the subject of much discussion among critics.  Some suggest that “It’s as if Emily Brontë were telling the same story twice, and eliminating its originality the second time.”[1]  Others agree, and go still farther to suggest that it seems as though it were written at two different times (London 42).  The novel is not a conventional narrative with the “study of normal men and women in the ordinary pursuits of life” (Watson 88), nor is it solely about Heathcliff’s revenge (Watson 88), a theory that disregards the love elements of the text.  One theory, put forth by Melvin Watson, that keeps Heathcliff at the center but acknowledges elements other than revenge, is that the novel is a “psychological study of an elemental man whose soul is torn between love and hate” (Watson 89).  However, this theory suggests that  the stories of Catherine Linton (Cathy), Hareton Earnshaw, and Linton Heathcliff are important only in that they allow time for Heathcliff’s revenge to come to fruition.  The only significance Watson allows the second generation in its own right is that of giving a calm and symbolic ending to the text[2].  However, the text is about more than just Heathcliff.  Instead, it discusses a conflict between the civilized and domestic and the untamed and wild.  Heathcliff, then, becomes part of the wild and untamed within the novel.  The story of the second generation brings to a conclusion the conflict between domestic and wild.  The characters and love triangle of the second generation parallel the first, and while not exactly the same as their ancestral counterparts, it is these differences that allow for a socially acceptable marriage at the end of the text.  The conclusion of Wuthering Heights seems to resolve the conflict throughout the novel by favoring the more domestic, and acceptable, relationship.  However, there are subtle hints within the text that suggest that there is some favoring of the wild passion of the first generation as well.  Brontë’s novel manipulates conventional narrative form through doubling and an ending that appears to support a conventional relationship of domestic civilization, but brings the unacceptable, obsessive lovers together as well.

The dual narrators introduce the reader to the “narrative within the narrative” frame that dominates Wuthering Heights.  Lockwood’s narration, which begins in the first three chapters, shows itself sporadically throughout the text, then finishes the novel, frames Nelly’s story.  Lockwood listens to the story of the first generation as Nelly tells it (much like the reader “listens” to Lockwood’s reiteration of Nelly’s words) and Nelly observes the actions about which she speaks (in the same way that the narrator “observes” the text unfolding before them).  This narrator frame cues the reader in to a plot frame within the work.  If the first generation, and, therefore, Heathcliff, is the driving force of the novel, why does Brontë begin with half of the ending?  The story of the second generation of Earnshaws, Heathcliffs, and Lintons is introduced first, is abandoned to discuss the first generation during which it is given a history, and is then finished at the end of the novel.  When the reader first meets the characters in the text, he or she learns that Cathy is the widow of Heathcliff’s son, Hareton is a displaced Earnshaw (Brontë 33), Heathcliff is owner of the Heights and the Grange (Brontë 25-26), the Grange is empty and being rented (Brontë 25), and the phantom of Catherine is haunting Heathcliff (Brontë 33).  There is also a glimpse into the romantic conflicts of the first generation and the progress of the early romance[3].    Instead, she chooses to close the text with the second generation’s love story, superimposing into this structure an elaboration of the first generation’s conclusion (which otherwise seems to end half way through the book with Catherine’s death in chapter 16).  If one were to look at the novel from a conventional standpoint, Brontë seems to begin a story, then move onto an almost completely unrelated narrative only to return to finish the story with which she began.  However, through this purposeful manipulation of the structure of narrative, both generations become central to the text.  One generation is integrally related to the other, in that the actions of the one give insight into the actions and development of the other.

            A number of influential narrative theorists have discussed the novel as a genre as “Radically conceived yet more often than not the voice of tradition” (Boone 1).  The novel’s structure and typical subject matter caused the novel to be “seen as important for the furthering of civilization and culture.”  The role of the novel was “civilizing” or “socially indoctrinating” the reader (Davis 117).  The novel was thought to resist change (18) and promote social and political ideologies that would ultimately preserve the “status quo” (224-25).  Even for politically progressive novelists, the literary genre itself could “derail” the “content” because of the novel’s “conservative nature” (231).  This idea would suggest that a novel’s main goal would then be to end in a state that solves the conflicts at work against convention with the novel’s plot and thereby reestablish the social norm and a state of relative stasis.  D. A. Miller, however, argues the difficulties of narrative closure, suggesting that novels do indeed promise an ending providing “judgments and resolutions” (The Novel 90) but “cannot, at any single moment, deliver” the “totality” it “continually promises” (Narrative 279).  Because the element of complication (which Miller terms the “narratable”[4]) “inherently lacks finality;” the text can never reach a “resolved meaning” (Narrative xi).  Therefore, “closure, though it implies resolution, never really resolves the dilemmas raised by the narratable.  In essence, closure is an act of ‘make believe,’ a postulation that closure is possible” (Narrative 267).  It is precisely this openness of narrative closure that Emily Brontë manipulates.  She uses this irresolvable conflict to her advantage, leaving an open ending that allows for the simultaneous favoring of both seemingly contradictory romances, and a condemnation of neither.  Traditional narrative would require favoring one and condemning the other, to show a definitive ending in the text.  If Wuthering Heights were a conventional Victorian novel, it would condemn the nontraditional wild romance and favor the domestic union.

            Although many analyses of Emily Brontë’s novel make Heathcliff the dominant figure in the book,[5] the romances seem to be more of the focal point of Wuthering Heights.  The text is about the struggle between a romantic, wild love and a tame, domestic one.  Wuthering Heights ends with the promise of marriage (but no actual wedding), one of the common closures cited by Miller[6], and certainly seems to present a socially acceptable relationship and a valuing of Victorian ideals of domesticity.  Nelly suggests that “the crown of all [her] wishes will be the union of these two; [she] shall envy no one on their wedding day” (Brontë 271).   This love is one that is acceptable, because reserved and patient, rather than wild and obsessive.  Although Hareton and Cathy begin their relationship in conflict, they develop a mutual affection (269).  Both youths are willing to work for a strong relationship: “both their minds tending to the same point—one loving and desiring to esteem; and the other loving and desiring to be esteemed—they contrived in the end, to reach it” (270).  They actively strive to gain the other’s companionship and friendship first, which leads to a tender, mutual love.  Lockwood reenters the world of Wuthering Heights to see “a young man, respectably dressed, and seated at a table, having a book before him” with Catherine behind him; he witnesses a scene of domesticity—Catherine teaching Hareton to read (a sign of civilization[7]) and a shared kiss among lovers (263).  The second generation espouses “the values of continuity, community, and generation” and the relationship is one of “mutual esteem” (Mellor, qtd. in Vine 351).  The text ends with the “prototypically Victorian affirmation of wedlock” (Boone 168).  One critic suggests that this conclusion also presents a movement into an unknown future (Boone 170), as the couple will be married on New Years Day and set out on a new beginning outside of Wuthering Heights (Brontë 287).  However, they plan to move to Thrushcross Grange.  The reader knows the Grange, and can therefore guess at what sort of future the couple will have—one characterized by the same domestic and civilized qualities as the novel generally associates with their new home.  

            While the impending marriage and love between Hareton and Cathy certainly suggest a favoring by the novel of conventional love and domestic marriage, there are many things within the text that also appear to imply an equal acceptance of the wild passion of the earlier generation.  Brontë structures her novel in such a way that much of what is within it is doubled, suggesting a connection between the two relationships.  One critic, Joseph Allen Boone, has proposed that doubling within a text involving marriage suggests “an unbridgeable gap between . . . marital ideal and outcome, that cannot be univocally resolved.  Closely related to and often the agent of such destabilizing repetition is the use of some form of double plot or dual structure to keep the direction of the counter-tradition text always slightly ‘off-center,’ as opposed to ‘end-directed’” (149).  His argument suggests that novels that break from the male-dominated traditional view to espouse a union involving more agency and independence for the woman have needed to reconsider “narrative structure” (Boone 143).  The plots become “decentered” which provides“openness” at the end of the text (149-50).  Counter-traditional plots are those that break away from societal norms and in the end favor an unconventional idea of marriage.  Brontë’s text uses the open-ended closure of the counter-traditional marriage text; however, the focus is more on the nature of love than on marriage.    The unconventional ideal of two people destined to be together found in the Heathcliff-Catherine relationship is “off-center” in the text (the wild, obsessive love is counter to traditional Victorian domesticity), set off by the conventional, peaceful relationship of Hareton and Cathy in the text’s conclusion.  The doubling in this text works to keep the counter-traditional text secondary to the traditional thread; yet, perhaps ironically, it is the traditional thread that provides the clues as to the importance of the sub-text.

            The two Catherines, even through their very names, first suggest this idea of doubling within the text.  Of course, these characters are not exact replicas; in physical appearance, the text emphasizes that the two Catherines are only similar.  Cathy shows many distinctions from her mother, having “the Earnshaw’s handsome dark eyes, but the Lintons’ fair skin, and small features, and yellow curling hair,” identifying her more with her father’s family than her mothers’ (Brontë 171).  Still, when reading the novel, one cannot help associating the second Catherine with the first.  Catherine is characterized as “mischievous and wayward” (53), “wild” (55), and “bold, saucy” (56).    Nelly is reminded of her mother by her “high” temperament and “capacity for intense attachments” (171).  The mother and daughter pair depart on similar relationships, as well, each becoming involved in unhappy marriages to Lintons. It is through the doubling of the Catherines’ lives and the characters introduced along the way, that the novel shows most clearly how the novel accepts both the passion of the first generation and the domesticity of the second.

The first Catherine is involved in a nearly-savage and socially unacceptable relationship with the outcast Heathcliff.  Their romance is characterized by passion and obsession, the socially unacceptable product of the wild, untamed Earnshaw and the savage, demonic Heathcliff.  He is described by Catherine as “unreclaimed,” “without refinement—without cultivation,” “fierce, pitiliess, wolfish” (Brontë 104).  He is considered to be a “gypsy” or “son of a fortune teller” (51, 62) and is characterized as “wicked” (62).  Isabella questions if he is “mad,” or “a devil” (131), and calls him a “monster” (159).  He is also clearly identified as “foreign” through his vocal characteristics (51, 96) and has no past, no name (except a borrowed one) and no origin (52).  Steven Vine has argued that “Heathcliff comes from outside, from the other, introduction an instability into the world that precariously incorporates him, and he is never stably lodged in any of the social places he assumes” (Vine 341).  Because of this nature, he would never be a suitable match for Catherine.  Still, the two view themselves as one; in a speech to Nelly, Catherine asserts this point: “he’s more myself than I am.  Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” (86-87).   She continues by saying, “My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries . . . 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” (88).  Heathcliff, too, views them as somehow connected.  He suggests that to live without Catherine would be “death and hell” (141).  He yells at Catherine for leaving him, saying, “Because misery, and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it” and suggests that if she dies he will live “with [his] soul in the grave” (150).  Heathcliff is haunted until his death by visions of Catherine—by his love for Catherine.  Heathcliff is an outsider, a foreigner with no past (52).  Heathcliff himself would be a socially unacceptable match for Catherine.  The obsession that characterizes their romance makes their union even more unacceptable.  It represents a passion that does not fit in the domestic sphere of marriage.

Catherine, of course, cannot marry Heathcliff; it is out of the realm of possibility for a socially acceptable Victorian novel.  Because of this ideology, Brontë’s Catherine marries the domestic Edgar Linton, instead.  While this marriage is socially acceptable, the novel suggests that it might not be “right” for Catherine. Catherine suggests that “‘were [she] in heaven . . . [she] should be extremely miserable’” (86).  While this line seems unrelated to her experience at Thrushcross Grange, there is an interesting connection to Heathcliff’s earlier characterization of the house: “[Catherine and I] should have thought ourselves in heaven [should they have lived in the Grange]” (Brontë 60)!  Catherine feels she does not belong in “heaven,” in Thrushcross Grange.  While a young girl, she spends some time in this “heaven,” undergoing a transformation.  She in essence removes herself; because inherently connected with Heathcliff and Wuthering Heights, Catherine is not of the same stock as the cultured Lintons and the Grange.  Nelly states that when she returns home from her stay at the Grange, Catherine is an entirely different person: “instead of a wild, hatless little savage…there lighted from a handsome black pony a very dignified person” (Brontë 63).  She hides her wilder side when around the Lintons as well, adopting a “double character”: “rude” and “rough” at home and polite and courteous with the Lintons (75).  Her time spent as an adult at the Grange is also characterized by unhappiness.  She loves Edgar Linton, but her time with him is colored by seasons of “gloom and silence” because of Heathcliff’s absence (96).  When Heathcliff returns, things are better, but only until tensions between Heathcliff and Linton prevent any future visits from the former (115).  Catherine then becomes distraught and makes herself ill (116-19) with a “brain fever” (129).  Catherine somewhat recovers her strength and health, but her moods are varied (147).  Eventually, however, her heartsickness over the loss of Heathcliff combines with her pregnancy to lead to her death (152).  Catherine truly does not belong in the “heaven” of the domestic marriage at the Grange.  The separation from Heathcliff forced on her by the conflicts between him and her husband leads to misery in the conventional union.  If the text were solely supportive of the Victorian marital tradition, one would expect this marriage to be a happy union.

The second generation’s Cathy also marries a domestic “Linton” through her marriage to Linton Heathcliff.  While, as Heathcliff’s son, Linton has characteristics of his father,[8]  these characteristics are overshadowed by the resemblance to the Lintons.  His name serves as a strong link to the Linton family and severs the boy somewhat from his father.  His appearance, a strong resemblance to Edgar Linton (180), also shows a link to the family.  Heathcliff even says to Linton “Thou art thy mother’s child, entirely!  Where is my share in thee” (186)?  Even his sickly nature limits him to the indoors, and therefore the domestic sphere dominated by the Lintons.  Although she suggests that she would marry him anyway, Cathy’s union with Linton is forced upon her by Heathcliff (273).  It is no happier than her mother’s union with Edgar.  Linton is nearly an invalid and Cathy’s time is spent caring for him, leaving little time for any marital happiness or time for herself (252).  She is locked by her husband in her room and is delayed in visiting her dying father by both her husband and her father-in-law’s tyranny (243).  Of course, Linton Heathcliff is not a full Linton; still, his connection to Edgar Linton and therefore the unhappy marriage between the first Catherine and Linton suggests a doubling of the first Catherine’s experiences.  Both of these marriages are failed unions to the domestic “Lintons” in the novel.

            The novel clearly shows dissatisfying results from the relationships between the Catherines and the Lintons.  If these seemingly domestic (or more conventional marriages) are failures, what, then, is a successful relationship in Wuthering Heights?  The counter-traditional sub-text is that of Heathcliff and Catherine’s obsession/love, and some evidence within the text points to the correctness of this romance.  One indication of acceptance is in the doubling of the first and second generation.  While Cathy’s marriage to Hareton on the surface suggests Victorian domestic, through the structure of the narrative, and through characterization of both Heathcliff and Hareton, there is a suggestion of an equal favoring of the obsessive wild romance.  Brontë links the two male characters, making them doubles of each other.  Hareton takes Heathcliff’s part in the love triangle.  Part of the similarities in the characters comes from Heathcliff’s own design—to Nelly, it appears that Heathcliff has “bent his malevolence on making [Hareton] a brute” (178).  Hareton’s position also links him to Heathcliff; Heathcliff tells Nelly, “I can sympathise with all his [Hareton’s] feelings, having felt them myself” (195) and he sees Hareton as “a personification of [his] youth” (276).  While Heathcliff feels Hareton will never “emerge from his bathos of coarseness and ignorance” because “he takes a pride in his brutishness” (195), the difference between Hareton and Heathcliff is that Hareton not only “had first-rate qualities” (195) but has them still.  Hareton is an Earnshaw, and despite the fact that Earnshaws are associated with the wild, they are still a landed British family—Hareton’s namesake has his name inscribed above the door of the Heights (26).  Even though he “was not to be civilized with a wish” (270), Hareton does overcome his debasement by Heathcliff.  Hareton and Cathy’s union “repeat[s] the tensions of the earlier Catherine-Heathcliff relation in a more socially accommodating form” (Vine 355).  Although one critic suggests that the movement from the Heathcliff-Catherine relationship to the Hareton-Cathy relationship is a movement from “a Romantic-Gothic to a Victorian domestic plot” (Vine 355), this is only half true.  The novel does end as a domestic love story; however, the union of Hareton and Cathy, because it is a continuation of the relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine (albeit an altered, muted continuation), is a signal of an ultimate union between the first generation of lovers.  Because the characters are similar, almost to the point of confusion for the reader, one cannot help but extend the union between Cathy and Hareton, making their marriage the socially acceptable union of Catherine and Heathcliff.

            The dual setting, too, becomes important at the text’s conclusion.  The couple plans to move to Thrushcross Grange, but the action of the text ends in Wuthering Heights.  This is significant, because the final image the reader has is of the house associated with the wild and untamed Earnshaws and more closely with Heathcliff, suggesting a favoring of this over the domestic Lintons’ Grange.  Thrushcross Grange is “beautiful—a splendid place carpeted with crimson . . . and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold” (Brontë 60).  Rich furnishings and the coloring indicate wealth and opulence.  The indication that the couple will move to the Grange suggests a favoring of this upper-middle class Victorian domesticity.  However, the reader never sees this move.  Instead, the text ends in Wuthering Heights, a house with “a few stunted firs at the end of the house…gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way…narrow windows…deeply set in the wall” (Brontë 26).  The inside is not any more appealing.  The ornaments are ominous and imposing: “Above the chimney were sundry villainous old guns, and a couple of horse-pistols . . . the chairs, high-backed, primitive structures” (26).  The Earnshaws themselves are similarly untamed.  After Mr. Earnshaw’s death, Hindley becomes “tyrannical” when his wife grows “peevish.”  Catherine agrees with Heathcliff to “grow up as rude as savages” (58-59), and Mrs. Earnshaw is concerned that the house on the moors will cause the newly-civilized Catherine to “grow wild again” (64).  Wuthering Heights is made even more savage through its connection with Heathcliff and the characterization of it as his “dwelling” (26).  The idea of an impending move gives the promise of the domestic (the couple are moving to the Grange at the first of the year—287), but the narrative never fulfills that promise.  Instead, it leaves us with the image of the couple within the untamed and wild house.  Since this is the house of Heathcliff and Catherine (an Earnshaw) and the house is where their love originally flourished, ending the text here connects the new marriage with the first love.  The prominence and favoring of the Heights translates to a favoring of the unconventional Heathcliff and Catherine.

            The novel does not simply end with the conclusion of the love story; it includes another brief flashback to illuminate for Lockwood (and the reader) the conclusion of Heathcliff.  By doing so, the novel also opens (for a third time) a love story that was seemingly ended by Catherine’s death mid-way through the book.  The novel reverses itself again, structurally, and shows the persistence of the love even after death.   Up until the point in the novel when Heathcliff dies himself, Catherine appears sporadically within the text.  She comes as a ghost to Lockwood (Brontë 43) and Heathcliff’s words—“hear me this time” (45)—suggest she has haunted the bedroom before.  Heathcliff experiences her presence at her gravesite (249) and he complains of her presence being ever around him—“there is one who won’t shrink from my company!  By God!  she’s relentless” (285).The “ghosts of the past” still linger in the text (Boone 150-51), literally through the ghost of Catherine.  The persistence of Catherine in the text suggests a persistence of the first generation’s romance.  Brontë will not allow her reader to forget the obsessive love, keeping it ever on the reader’s mind.  The presence of what should be resting in its grave suggests that, if only to restore the soul to peace, Heathcliff should be together with Catherine.  It is their separation that would not allow Catherine to rest.  The restlessness of her spirit develops feelings of sympathy for Catherine in the reader.  Though it is wild, this love, which transcends even death is true; and true love should be united.

            In The Novel and the Police, D. A. Miller argues that even in novels that seem to reject societal control, a novel revolves around the issue of power.  The novel tries to resist power (“it is never embraced by the novel”[9]) by an “attempt of the protagonist to break away from the social control,” however this “social control . . . thereby reclaims him” (28).  It is through the process of the novel’s rejection of power that social order regains power.  Catherine and Heathcliff are destroyed by social control in one sense, and therefore social control should regain power (reinforcing the idea that it is the Victorian domestic that should be valued).  However, at the same time they are destroyed, Heathcliff and Catherine are liberated.  While living, society would not allow their joining, but after they have died, they can be together in their own version of heaven.  Social control is not restored because through their deaths they transcend the power that kept them apart.

            The ghosts of Heathcliff and Catherine suggest a togetherness that for them is a fulfillment of heaven.  After Heathcliff’s death, the text is haunted by two ghosts—a shepherd boy sees “Heathcliff, and a woman” on a stormy night.  “Country folk” say they see Heathcliff walking, and Joseph says he sees “two on ’em looking out of his chamber window, on every rainy night since [Heathcliff’s] death” (Brontë 286-87).  Even Nelly Dean, who claims to be skeptical of the tales, is afraid to go out at night or be alone in the house (287).  While ghosts are unconventional, and certainly are not associated with a typical heaven, the lovers are together.  For Heathcliff and Catherine, that is all heaven needs.  This abandon of conventional “realism” that would be present in a Victorian novel[10] removes the text from the domestic ending and re-places it into the realm of the supernatural.  The abandonment of convention removes the novel from Miller’s argument as well; because it is no longer in the conventional realm, it no longer is tied to conventional rules.  The novel can embrace two seemingly opposing viewpoints, and there need be no reestablishment of social control (which would restrict the novel to solely the traditional ideas).  The return to the realm of the supernatural in itself suggests a favoring of the obsessive love of the first generation, the wild love.

            Finally, the very burial of Catherine and Heathcliff suggests that perhaps the reader should wish for their joining.   The burial ground of the Lintons is civilized, under a roof (Brontë 156).  Catherine, because of her status as Edgar Linton’s wife, should have the option of being buried here.  She, however, chooses not to be.  Nor does she choose to be buried with her own family—the Earnshaws—in their graves “outside” (156).  Instead, she is buried “on a green slope” with “bilberry plants” that have crept over the wall from the moors covering her grave (156).  Heathcliff expresses the wish to be buried with one side of his coffin open and joined to the open side of Catherine’s coffin, the side he opened on a visit to her grave (248).  This idea is highly unconventional, and one that no clergyman would allow, since to bury the savage and immoral Heathcliff in a coffin joined to Catherine’s (particularly since they were not married) would defile the dead Earnshaw and her husband, buried with her (156).  However, Nelly tells Lockwood, “We buried him, to the scandal of the whole neighbourhood, as he had wished” (286).  Heathcliff is entombed with Catherine, joined at last to his love in death.  This socially unacceptable, scandalous burial is allowed to occur.  In a conventional text, one that favored only the socially acceptable second generation, this burial would not have been allowed.  Brontë’s novel acknowledges the socially unacceptable nature of this end for Heathcliff, but allows it to occur, showing a level of agreement that they should be united, even if convention allows it only in death.

            Wuthering Heights, while not entirely dismissing the Victorian domestic ideal of marriage, opens this sort of relationship to passionate, savage characteristics of a deep and lasting love based on two people’s near-obsession with each other.  The association of Hareton and Cathy’s romance with that of Heathcliff and Catherine gives the former a wilder, less tame feeling.  The conclusion of the text does not entirely suggest that both types of relationship, in and of themselves, are acceptable (Catherine and Heathcliff are only united in death, and Hareton must be “civilized” before he can marry Cathy).  Rather, the novel seems to suggest that a true, lasting romance (the “happy ending” of the novel) would need characteristics of both types of love.  Hareton and Cathy are happy because they have domestic qualities as well as a touch of the more wild and untamed nature of Catherine and Heathcliff’s love (suggested by the doubling of the two relationships). 



Works Cited

Boone, Joseph Allen.  Tradition Counter Tradition: Love and the Form of Fiction.  Chicago: U       of Chicago P, 1987.

Brontë, Emily.  Wuthering Heights.  2nd ed.  Ed. Linda H. Peterson.  New York: Bedford/St.   Martin’s, 2003.

Davis, Lennard J.  Resisting Novels: Ideology and Fiction.  New York: Methuen, 1987.

London, Bette.  “Wuthering Heights and the Text Between the Lines.”  Papers on Language and       Literature 24.1 (1988): 34-52.

McKibben, Robert C.  “The Image of the Book in Wuthering Heights.”  Nineteenth Century    Fiction 15.2 (1960): 159-69.

Miller, D. A. Narrative and Its Discontents: Problems with Closure in the Traditional Novel.         Princeton, NJ: Princeton U P, 1981.

---.  The Novel and the PoliceLos Angeles: U of California P, 1988.

Thormahlen, Marianne.  “The Lunatic and the Devil’s Disciple: The ‘Lovers’ in Wuthering          Heights.”  The Review of English Studies 48.190 (1997): 183-97.

Vine, Steven.  “The Wuther of the Other in Wuthering Heights.”  Nineteenth-Century Literature         49.3 (1994): 339-59.

Watson, Melvin R.  “Tempest in the Soul: The Theme and Structure of Wuthering Heights.”       Nineteenth Century Fiction 4.2 (1949): 87-100.


[1] Leo Bersani, qtd. in London 42

[2] Watson 94

[3] Joseph Allen Boone has argued that the names in the desk (Wuthering Heights 38) suggest the first Catherine’s process of self-discovery (and the movement of her relationships) as well as the inverted journey of the second Catherine as she becomes an Earnshaw (Boone 158).

[4] Miller defines the “narratable” as “the instances of disequilibrium, suspense, and general insufficiency from which a given narrative appears to arise.  The term is meant to cover the various incitements to narrative, as well as the dynamic ensuing from such incitements, and it is thus opposed to the ‘nonnarratable’ state of quiescence assumed by a novel before the beginning and supposedly recovered by it at the end” (Narrative 4).

[5] Thormahlen 191

[6] Miller, Novel 4

[7] Robert C. McKibben equates books with a sign of “civilizing” and to relates books to Thrushcross Grange, which he characterizes as “normalcy and convention” (162).  McKibben goes on to say that books suggest a sort of hiding from true experience.  While this idea may or may not be present in the text, it is the idea of the book as a “stabilizing” force (162) and a force of civilization that is important to this argument.

[8] Linton Heathcliff has a “defective character” (230) and shows “resemblance” to Heathcliff (238).  After an attack on him by Hareton (in response to Linton’s teasing), Linton screams “If you don’t let me in I’ll kill you! . . . Devil! Devil! I’ll kill you!  I’ll kill you!”  It is at this point that Joseph remarks “Thear, that’s t’father! . . . We’ve allas summut uh orther side in us” (220).

[9] Miller, Novel 31

[10] Lennard J. Davis has this to say about traditional novels and realism: “The novel is a form which depends on mimesis—the imitation of reality through realist techniques—and because of that fact, novels depend on their ability to make readers feel as if they are witnessing not art but life” (Davis 26).