A Study of Gothic Features in Wuthering Heights毕业论文_英语毕业论文

A Study of Gothic Features in Wuthering Heights毕业论文

2021-04-07更新

摘 要

艾米丽·勃朗特的代表作《呼啸山庄》是一部典型的哥特小说,其哥特式特征在人物、场景和情节等方面得到了充分的体现。在人物方面,《呼啸山庄》中的主人公希斯克利夫是一个典型的恶棍英雄,他深爱凯瑟琳,但由于凯瑟琳的无情背叛他开始向凯瑟琳以及她周围的人实施疯狂报复。而女主角凯瑟琳的悲剧使她成了另一种典型的哥特式人物。她在面临选择真爱还是社会地位时受尽折磨,结果在精神分裂中绝望地死去。在场景设置方面,呼啸山庄神秘的外观和阴森恐怖的外部环境都体现出典型的哥特式小说的特征。阴晴不定的天气、死气沉沉的建筑和周边环境能很自然的使读者感到毛骨悚然。在情节上,艾米丽也采用哥特要素来描写一些《呼啸山庄》中的经典情节,比如说凯瑟琳的鬼魂出现在洛克乌德先生的梦中以及希斯克利夫实施的残忍复仇。这些情节充分体现出哥特小说超自然和恐怖的特征。另外,艾米丽对传统哥特小说主题的超越也是一大亮点,《呼啸山庄》的主题远远超越传统哥特小说关于善恶冲突的主题,进而探索整个人性。艾米丽·勃朗特正是通过描写这些细节来表现小说的哥特特征的,并因此奠定了她在哥特文学中的重要地位。

关键词:哥特特征;神秘;恐怖;超自然

Contents

1. Introduction 1

2. Demonstration 2

2.1 A general review of the gothic tradition in world literature 2

2.1.1 Gothic writing and gothic features 2

2.1.2 Emily Bronte’s inheritance and development of gothic tradition 3

2.2 Analysis of the gothic features in Wuthering Heights 5

2.2.1 Gothic features of the characters 6

2.2.1.1 Heathcliff—a villain-hero 6

2.2.1.2 Catherine Earshaw—a spiritually-split woman 8

2.2.2 Gothic features of the setting 10

2.2.2.1 The moors and the weather—gloominess 10

2.2.2.2 Wuthering heights—mystery 12

2.2.3 Gothic features of the plot 12

2.2.3.1 Phantom of Catherine—the supernatural 13

2.2.3.2 Revenge of Heathcliff—terror 14

3. Conclusion 15

Works Cited 17

Bibliography 18

A Study of Gothic Features in Wuthering Heights

1. Introduction

Emily Bronte (1818-1848) is one of the most famous British poets and writers in the 19th century of English literature. Her masterpiece Wuthering Heights published in December of 1847 is considered to be “one of the best ten novels in the world” (Maugham 115). And because of its gothic writing techniques, Wuthering Heights is also referred to as a novel full of ghastly, morbid psychology and barbarity. The critics thought that people would be “shocked, disgusted, almost sickened by details of cruelty, inhumanity and the most diabolical hate and vengeance” (Gerin 212). Yang jingyuan in his One Hundred Years of Bronte Sisters also mentioned: “The mighty love, hatred and consciousness of revenge in this novel can not be accepted by the people of that time, and they also comment that the novel is full of horror, morbidity, immorality and heresy”(Yang 77). In 1850, Wuthering Heights was first praised by Sidney Dobell in Koehler Bell who pointed out the unique creative talent of Emily and heaped praises on Wuthering Heights. From then on, critics all over the world gave high evaluation for it. Now this classic novel is continuing to be researched on by many international scholars. In fact, Wuthering Heights is a typical gothic novel of love which involves hatred, revenge, conspiracy and fight for the right of inheritance. Emily uses multitudinous gothic techniques on the characters, the setting and the plots to make the readers feel its gothic charm. They will get excited because of its horrific characters, mysterious architecture and supernatural plots. What’s more, compared with traditional gothic theme, Wuthering Heights goes far beyond the conflict between the good and the evil into exploring the human nature. Emily’s inheritance and improvement to the traditional gothic novel makes Wuthering Heights a masterpiece. And through the detailed analysis of Wuthering Heights, the reader will realize that it is also a symbol of that era.

2. Demonstration

2.1 A general review of the gothic tradition in world literature

Generally speaking, gothic-related content is often tinged with an eerie atmosphere. It will give the reader a sense of oppression. Gothic novel is one of the most popular and important forms of English writing in the 18th century. It lasted a long time and affected a lot of writers. Because of its unique characteristics of mystery and terror, gothic novels have become popular in the late 18th century, and impacted on the creation of many writers of the 19th and 20th century. Many of its elements entered into the mainstream of Victorian novels and the gothic genre has been playing a very significant role in world literature. Brontes, Dickens, Hardy and other writers were deeply affected by it.

2.1.1 Gothic writing and gothic features

The term “Gothic” originally refers to the Goths, an ancient Germanic tribe. Thousand years after the demise of the Western Roman Empire, the Italian Vasari used the term “gothic” to refer to a kind of medieval architecture style, with high pointed arches and small windows. In English, the true history of the word “gothic” began in the 18th century. In general, it mainly comprises three meanings as follows: brutality, the medieval and the supernatural: “In general, the gothic has been associated with a rebellion against a constraining neoclassic ideal of order and unity, in order to recover a suppressed primitive and barbaric imaginative freedom.”(Kilgoure 3). About the late 18th century, the word has become the name of a new novel genre. The first Gothic novel appeared in 1764 when the British writer Horace Walpole published The Castle of Otranto in London, subtitled A Gothic Story. It marks the birth of Gothic novels. The story takes place in a gothic castle in southern Italy. It tells a sinful, violent and brutal story of murder. Thus, it has created a precedent for the British and Western gothic writing. Thereafter, the Gothic novel as an independent form of novel becomes popular in Europe, especially in Germany and Britain.

As it is,this kind of novels has extraordinary appeal to the readers, because of its terror and grotesque features. Horrors in such novels usually have the characteristics of murder, exceptional circumstances and death. And the grotesqueness often contains ghosts, different habitats and resurrection. The grotesqueness and terror can thus make readers have a special kind of fear. Shaw Harry once described the features of gothic novel in Concise Dictionary of Literary Terms as “a genre characterized by a general mood of decay, action that is dramatic and generally violent or otherwise disturbing, loves that are destructively passionate, and settings that are grandiose, if gloomy of bleak”(Harry 127). The elements of early gothic novels include terror, violence, mystery, murder, revenge, incest, death, ghost and the supernatural. The stories often take place in the middle ages, with grim castles, ruins or wasteland as the background. Most of the protagonists in gothic novels are referred to as “villain hero”, who is tyrannical and ruthless. The plots of the novel are usually filled with terror, and its theme is mainly related to revealing the evil of human nature and social injustice through intrigues, revenge, violence and other topics.

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