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Christian Ethics in Wuthering HeightsMarianne Thormählen
English Studies, Volume 95, Issue 6, 2014, pages 637-653
Even the first reviewers of Emily Brontë's novel thought it lacked a moral, and literary critics have struggled to find an ethical dimension in it. Many of them have concluded that the book is “amoral” and that it constitutes a world of its own to which no extraneous rationale can be applied. This article maintains that there is in fact a moral to Brontë's story, and that that moral is consistent with the ethical teachings of Christianity. When the actions of characters and the outcomes of their individual life stories are examined, it turns out that whatever lasting happiness any one of them experiences is the outcome of loving-kindness that is, patient and forgiving, in accordance with 1 Cor. 13:4–7. The concluding section of the article looks at the reasons for the inability of generations of readers and critics to perceive this ethical pattern. Finally, the significance of Heathcliff's strange way of dying is seen in relation to the loss of his desire for revenge.
The Outward Female Vision: The Struggle Against Enclosure in the Novels of Charlotte BrontëKon, Sheree
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: The good of Villette in my opinion Miss is a very fine style; and a remarkably happy way (which few female authors possess) of carrying a metaphor logically through to its conclusion. And it amuses me to read the author’s naive confession of being in love with 2 men at the same time; and her readiness to fall in love at any time.l So begins William Makepeace Thackeray’s letter about Villette and its author Charlotte Brontë (1816-55), "the poor little woman of genius," "the fiery little eager brave tremulous homely-faced creature."
2 While Thackeray twice praises Brontë for her style and an enjoyable novel in his responses to Jane Eyre and Villette, in his later review he assumes a more condescending, paternalistic tone. Although in 1847 he correctly identifies the author of Jane Eyre as a woman, he does not center his assessment of the novel on her female nature. But in speaking of Villette to Lucy Baxter in 1853, Thackeray notes that he "can read a great deal of [Bronte's] life in her book, and see [s] that rather than have fame, rather than any other earthly good . . . she wants some Tomkins or another to love her and be in love with."