It was only when I read Wuthering Heights again as a tale of multi-generational abuse - and how that abuse spawns monsters - rather than a love story that I understood its greatness. Emily focuses as much on the phantasmagoric world around Heathcliff and Cathy as she does on their ill-fated passion. Heathcliff's nastiness, in particular, has a clear cause: Hindley, whom he loved as a brother, abused him.
Heathcliff, in turn, created Linton, the most monstrous character in the next generation. It is up to Cathy's daughter, Catherine, and Hindley's son, Hareton, to break the cycle of abuse. It is this portrait of a vicious cycle that makes Wuthering Heights so compelling and uncomfortable to read. Emily trains an unwavering gaze on the sort of violent behaviour that can take place in the intimacy of the 'home', and harbours no illusions about the emotional dynamics that allows such abuse to thrive. It is also to her credit that the reader sees what a nightmare it is.
This is an incredible literary effect to achieve - an immersive, resonant world that the reader wants no part of.
Perhaps Emily was a genius for having achieved it. Perhaps it was the constraints of her life as an educated woman of little means in the 19th century that helped her do it. Whatever it is, one thing is clear; as Charlotte said, Emily had "a power and a secret fire", which helped her create, from the privacy of her home, fiery verses and a novel extraordinary for both her time and ours. Trinamul's Mahua Moitra calls for media house-wise government ad break-up.
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This poem is in the public domain. Remembrance Cold in the earth—and the deep snow piled above thee, Far, far removed, cold in the dreary grave!
ALWAYS BACK RETURNING
Have I forgot, my only Love, to love thee, Severed at last by Time's all-severing wave? Now, when alone, do my thoughts no longer hover Over the mountains, on that northern shore, Resting their wings where heath and fern leaves cover Thy noble heart forever, ever more? Cold in the earth—and fifteen wild Decembers, From those brown hills, have melted into spring; Faithful, indeed, is the spirit that remembers After such years of change and suffering!
Sweet Love of youth, forgive, if I forget thee, While the world's tide is bearing me along; Other desires and other hopes beset me, Hopes which obscure, but cannot do thee wrong! No later light has lightened up my heaven, No second morn has ever shone for me; All my life's bliss from thy dear life was given, All my life's bliss is in the grave with thee. But, when the days of golden dreams had perished, And even Despair was powerless to destroy, Then did I learn how existence could be cherished, Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.
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Then did I check the tears of useless passion— Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine; Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten Down to that tomb already more than mine. And, even yet, I dare not let it languish, Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain; Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish, How could I seek the empty world again? Spellbound The night is darkening round me, The wild winds coldly blow; But a tyrant spell has bound me And I cannot, cannot go. The giant trees are bending Their bare boughs weighed with snow. And the storm is fast descending, And yet I cannot go.
Clouds beyond clouds above me, Wastes beyond wastes below; But nothing drear can move me; I will not, cannot go. Academy of American Poets Educator Newsletter. Teach This Poem. Follow Us. Find Poets. Read Stanza.
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