Novelist and poet, Emily Brontë, is one of the most important figures in nineteenth century English literature. Emily and her siblings were raised in the Yorkshire area of England. Childhood imaginings shared with siblings became an important part of Emily's writings. As an adult, Emily recognized a metaphysical power in her life that made itself known in her greatest poems and is a profound presence in Wuthering Heights. Set during late eighteenth century England, Wuthering Heights reflected the social upheaval occurring in England at the time Emily Bronte wrote the novel. The industrialization of England had given rise to a middle class based on wealth instead of land ownership. The arrival of Irish refugees from the potato famine presented the problem of parentless children in need of homes and socialization exemplified in the character of Heathcliff. Ultimately, Emily portrays the problem of being female in the patriarchal culture of the early nineteenth century.Wuthering Heights is a romance novel about destructive passion set in the northern English moors, a place of unpredictable weather and countryside. The novel is the story of the Earnshaw family at Wuthering Heights and the Linton family at Thrushcross Grange, a neighboring property. The stage is set when Catherine Earnshaw's father brings an orphan, Heathcliff, home to be a part of their family, growing up with, but socially beneath the other inhabitants of Wuthering Heights. Catherine and Heathcliff are passionate, unpredictable soulmates who finally meet each other in a ghostly relationship in the afterlife. When Catherine's daughter, Cathy, and Hindley Earnshaw's son, Hareton, finally join happily in a loving relationship, the winter of Wuthering Heights becomes the spring of Thrushcross Grange.
CharactersCatherine Earnshaw - A beautiful, passionate, destructive heroine Heathcliff - A passionate, vengeful hero with mysterious origins Mr. Lockwood - A young London gentleman who narrates the story of Wuthering Heights Edgar Linton - Catherine Earnshaw's gentle, loving husband Isabella Linton - Edgar Linton's selfish, tempestuous younger sister Hindley Earnshaw - Catherine Earnshaw's older brother Catherine Linton - Only child of Catherine Earnshaw and Edgar Linton Hareton Earnshaw - Son of Hindley Earnshaw Linton Heathcliff - Sickly son of Heathcliff and Isabella Linton
Librarian talk . . . About Getting Started!
As you begin, narrow your topic to a size that you can manage. Consider keywords that will help you find the information you need. These can be names of people, literary works, events, or broader identifying terms. Use these keywords for locating information in the library catalog, electronic databases, and on the internet:
Themes: love/lovers, power, passion, class, gender, rebellion,
sex, race, revenge, supernatural, childhood, familyMore about Choosing Keywords (30 sec.)
Librarian Talk . . . About Books!
- Many books are available both online and in the library. So much has been written about this novel, books will be one of your best resources.
- The catalog is online.
- More about...Finding Books (31 sec.)
Reference Books with ideas on topics and major themes:
REF PN 50.L574, vol.1 - Literature and Its Times - A short essay on the events during Brontë's life which influenced her.
REF PN523 .W67 1992
Draper, James P., ed. World Literature Criticism. Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company, 1992. Vol. 1.
REF PN 761 .N5, v. 16 and 35 - Nineteenth Century Literature Criticism - Excerpts of analytical essays from major authors and literary critics beginning with the publication of the novel. Vol. 35 is the primary entry for Wuthering Heights.
REF PN 3385.N68, vol.2 - Novels for Students - An examination of the novel, discusses characters, themes, and offers some criticism.
REF PR 4167.A3O94
Alexander, Christine, and Margaret Smith. The Oxford Companion to the Brontës. Oxford: Oxford Press, 2003. Good information on the novel.
REF PR 4168.P28
Paddock, Lisa Olson. The Brontes A to Z: the essential reference to their lives and works. Facts on File, 2003. Look for character names and settings to find information which will help with your research.
e-Books, Audio and Video resources:
Imagined human beings: a psychological approach to character and conflict in literature - by Bernard J. Paris
This book is available in eBook Collection(e-Books online). For home access, use your library barcode number to login and view e-books.
PR4172.W7 - Wuthering Heights [sound recording] - An audio narration of the novel, read by Hannah Gordon, and available for check-out.
PR4172.W7 W88 Wuthering Heights: a critical guide [videorecording] - a 52 minute video with a critical analysis of the imagery and narrative style used in the classic novel of passion and death on the Yorkshire moors.
This segment on the inspiration for Wuthering Heights is in a video on the Brontës from the database Films on Demand. From off campus, you will be asked for your library barcode in order to watch the short segment (4:05 min.). Many of the places with which they were familiar influenced the settings for the Brontës' fictional creations. The remains of a large house on a hill may have been the inspiration for the house in "Wuthering Heights."
Wuthering Heights: a critical guide - imagery and narrative style are examined in this critical analysis of Emily Brontë’s classic novel of passion and death on the Yorkshire moors. Imagery in the novel springs directly from the wild landscape of Haworth—Brontë’s birthplace. A 52 minute video from Films on Demand.
Databases: Finding Scholarly Articles
Librarian Talk about Finding Journal, Magazine and Newspaper Articles!Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. Use them to find scholarly journal articles, articles from newspapers and magazines, letters, reference books, illustrations, photographs and more. Home access to databases is available with your library card barcode number. If you need assistance finding an article, contact the Reference Librarians, and they will assist you in obtaining the article. They will need full bibliographic information - and your name and address. Send your phone number as well, so they can contact you if necessary.
HINT: For a full list of article databases, go to Research Databases, look in the subject area for Literature, and use your library card to login.
Academic Search Complete - Scholarly, multi-discipline database, with many full text articles. Choose the Advanced Search feature and select "Full Text" and "Scholarly (Peer reviewed)" to retrieve appropriate articles. This database contains articles from the journal Bronte Studies, an excellent source of information on the Brontes.
Bloom's Literary Database Online - This database is a collection of many analytical essays discussing literature. These essays, originally published in print form, are accessible now for research online. Find information about Wuthering Heights, or read about the life of Emily Brontë and her body of work.
Literature Resource Center - Full text articles from reference books and Twayne's Masterworks books. Search for information by author, title or use a custom search to combine the two.
Project Muse - Begin your search by entering the title of the novel in the search box in quotation marks. Use the limiters on the left side of the screen to focus your search to Journals, full access (complete articles), or research areas. You can Modify a search to add keywords from your thesis - click on the + mark to add search boxes. This database is also entirely scholarly, so all articles will be of the appropriate academic level for your research.
The Magnanimity of Wuthering Heights by Joyce Carol Oates A critical essay on Wuthering Heights written by Joyce Carol Oates.
JSTOR - Search for scholarly journal articles in literature, economics, history, social sciences, science and mathematics. Use the advanced search page for the best search results, and put keywords in separate search boxes. Limit your search to Articles and select Language and Literature from the disciplines list for more focused results.
Librarian Talk about the Internet!
The internet can be a wonderful source of original documents. Browse the sites we have suggested below. Remember, you do want to find reputable sites. Look for:
- Accuracy - The information should be researched and show proof of that research.
- Source - Look at the domain: .edu .gov .org .net are valid research sources.
- Authority - What are the author's credentials? (Don't quote from another college student's paper.)
- Coverage - Does the page have the information you need for your research?
- Objectivity - If a work is biased, use it - just make sure your professor knows YOU know. Offer both sides of issues, where applicable.
Wuthering Heights - a Reader's Guide An excellent cite, complete with plot, summary, characters, background, and more.
Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights and Selected Poetry Contains plot summary, character analysis, and a brief biography.
Victorian Web: Emily Brontë: An Overview An authoritative source of information on Emily Bronte; the culture at the time; the themes and techniques used in Wuthering Heights.
GETTING HELP FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT
Librarian Talk about getting help!
Support for a successful paper is more than finding the right resources. Putting it all together takes time and effort. Sometimes it takes additional help from the librarians or tutors. Please consider the following resources if you need additional help. Remember, the expert on the assignment is your professor; use your in-class email to contact her.
Citing Sources Using the Library MLA Style Guide | Lone Star College-Kingwood Library guide. Examples of both paper and electronic citations.
Avoiding Plagiarism | Excellent information and guide on how to avoid plagiarism from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.
UT Copyright Crashcourse | This helpful guide on intellectual property is suggested by Lone Star College-Kingwood Teaching and Learning Center.
Learning Center | Hours available for in-house tutoring.
Page by Melinda Cavanaugh July 2002. Revised 4/2013 B. Bradley