Essay on Feminist' Ideas in Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights"

2400 Words Mar 9th, 2013 10 Pages
Women’s rights have been a question greatly discussed for quite some time, and the debate is still continuing despite the possibilities offered to women today. Feminism nowadays has evolved into a movement in a number of directions, starting with women equality and ending with homosexuality. However, feminism originally is an ideology that is based on equal political, economic and social rights for women. Feminism theory deals with analysing women’s social roles and experiences in relation to gender inequality. Traces of this ideology are vastly represented and can be found in a number of literary works, as notable examples are novels written by female authors (the Brontë sisters, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot and others) during the Age …show more content…
J.S. Whitley in introduction of Wordsworth Classics edition of ‘Wuthering Heights’ refers to Nelly as the narrator that tells the story ‘to create herself as central figure: the moral, rational hub of the tale, holding everything together’. (Whitley, 2000: x) However it must be taken into account that Nelly cannot be considered to be a reliable narrator; therefore, whatever she tells the reader, she does it from her own perspective. This is another trait of feminism, as Brontë depicts each woman as an individuality whose personality is not dependent on men and yet they have to find and accept their place in the world. In this novel these women are given a word. As de Beauvoir (1949: 328) writes:

‘The drama of women lies in this conflict between the fundamental aspirations of every subject (ego) – who always regards the self is the essential – and the compulsions of a situation in which she is the inessential.’

Emily Brontë also uses other characters that have noticeable personality. These women are fighting for themselves and for their right to be individualities. Catherine Earnshaw, later to become Catherine Linton, she symbolises the rebelliousness of women and their fight for their future. Female authors of 19th century ‘in choosing

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