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Imagery in Wuthering Heights: Quotes & Analysis

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

In ''Wuthering Heights'' by Emily Bronte, imagery is used to describe the setting and events of the story in a way that helps the reader feel the seclusion and turmoil of the characters. In this lesson, we will analyze some specific examples of imagery from the novel.

Visualizations

Emily Bronte manages to create some powerful descriptions that help the reader imagine themselves at Wuthering Heights. How does she do it? Bronte uses a great deal of imagery in this novel. Imagery is a type of figurative language that uses the senses to create a strong description that is sometimes metaphoric. Some examples of imagery are found in Lockwood's descriptions of Wuthering Heights and of Heathcliff in death. Let's look at some examples of imagery from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

Isolation

In the first lines of Lockwood's journal, he remarks on the loneliness of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange by writing, 'I have just returned from a visit to my landlord - the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with. This is certainly a beautiful country! In all England, I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir of society. A perfect misanthropist's heaven: and Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us.' In this description of the landscape, Lockwood is able to impart the reclusive nature of both Heathcliff and himself. Additionally, he is able to provide a visualization of a place where dysfunction and revenge are able to play themselves out without any interruption from civilized society.

Wuthering Heights

As Lockwood points out in his narrative, even the name of Wuthering Heights is indicative of the tumultuous and violent nature of the residence. Lockwood narrates, 'Wuthering being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in stormy weather. Pure, bracing ventilation they must have up there at all times, indeed: one may guess the power of the north wind blowing over the edge, by the excessive slant of a few stunted firs at the end of the house; and by a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun. Happily, the architect had foresight to build it strong: the narrow windows are deeply set in the wall, and the corners defended with large jutting stones.' The imagery used to describe Wuthering Heights sets the scene as an ominous, defensive, and unhappy place, just like the characters who live there.

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