Written by Emily Bronte
Style Guide to
New Critic's Edition
Heathcliff, to Nelly
Nelly, to Lockwood
Linton, to Nelly
The paradoxical style of Wuthering Heights reveals that the pursuit of validation manifested in the desire to control inevitably leads to the destruction of supportive relationships.
“One is gold put to the use of paving-stones, and the other is tin polished to ape a service of silver. Mine has nothing valuable about it; yet I shall have the merit of making it go as far as such poor stuff can go. His had first-rate qualities, and they are lost; rendered worse than unavailing. I have nothing to regret; he would have more than any but I are aware of” (212).
“Catherine always spoke of it as her house. It isn’t hers! It’s mine - papa says everything she has is mine. All her nice books are mine - she offered to give me them...if I would get the key of our room, and let her out: but I told her she had nothing to give. they were all, all mine” (280).
Emily Bronte exploits Wuthering Heights with paradoxical style to project that the emotional pursuit of validation manifested in the obsession to control inevitably leads to the manipulation of supportive relationships and conclusive dissatisfaction.
Infographic by Connor Meeds and Emma Demers
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- contorts relationship into a power struggle
- juxtaposes marriage ideals by seeking father’s validation
- emphasis of personal pronouns reveals desire for proprietary rights over emotional attachment
- external features overrule independent judgement, alluding to lack of necessity to control
- supportive relationships grow from encouragement, equality, comfort, and vulnerability
- possibility for a supportive relationship
- Heathcliff's pursuit of validation to get over past
- condescending tone conveys utmost effort to use Linton as object of validation
- personal pronouns alludes to control of Linton, destruction of true relationship
- juxtaposition of classes represents impact of outside forces in manipulation of actions
“His honest, warm, and intelligent nature shook off rapidly the clouds of ignorance and degradation in which it had been bred; and Catherine’s sincere commendations acted as a spur to his industry. His brightening mind brightened his features, and added spirit and nobility to their aspect…” (307).
The New Critic's Thesis avoids manipulation by the author when taking apart the text and in effect, a more accurate perspective of the book can be presented.