Date Thesis Awarded

5-2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

English

Advisor

Deborah Morse

Committee Member

Kim Wheatley

Committee Member

Kathrin Levitan

Committee Member

Suzanne Raitt

Abstract

At the outset of the Victorian Era, a young poet from the north of England composed a provocative and lapidary work of fiction, outfitted with the tempestuousness hinted at in its title. This poet was Emily Brontë; her 1847 masterpiece Wuthering Heights—the only novel she wrote before her death in 1848—is an atmospheric recalibration of ethnic, gender, and social identities in a remote corner of Yorkshire, as well as an extended meditation on unchecked passions. I contend that Wuthering Heights is a revolutionary recasting of the novel of manners, when the genre was nascent and hitherto largely a literary commodity of the south of England. It was Brontë’s innovation to develop a northern novel of manners, in which she envisions characters who are not rejecting social norms so much as instituting new, heretical ones to suit their own claustrophobic context.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Available for download on Saturday, May 04, 2019

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