The Bronte Sisters Jane Eyre And Wuthering

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The Bronte Sisters, Jane Eyre And Wuthering Heights Essay, Research Paper The Bronte Sisters Various aspects of Charlotte and Emily Bronte s background greatly influenced them to write the novels Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. The death of their mother influenced them as young children when she died of a lingering illness, and this loss drove the Bronte children into an intense and private intimacy (Dunleavy 239). But their father remained, and he directed their education at home, letting his children read freely and treating them as intellectual equals (Stabenau 179). Similarly, both of the main characters, Jane Eyre and Catherine Earnshaw, lose their mothers to illnesses as young children and the remaining parent or relative must raise the child. Both stories make use of

the popular nineteenth century motif of the orphaned child who must make his or her own way in an antagonistic world (Dunleavy 242). Besides the absence of a mother figure, both sisters spent most of their lives in isolation on the Yorkshire moors, another important influence on the novels (Abbey and Mullane 414). Rebecca Fraser, a biographer of the Bronte family, believes that they clearly preferred a reclusive lifestyle admist the primitive beauty of the moors (23). By comparison, the bleak, lonely moors of Yorkshire serve as the same setting for two of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century, Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights ( Bronte CD-ROM). According to an essay written in The Eclectic Review in 1851, Charlotte and Emily Bronte were at home amongst the moors; therefore,

a vividness and graphic power in their sketches present them before the reader (108). The Bronte s work was shaped by the wild and lonely moors where they spent most of their lives. Although quiet and withdrawn women, they possessed a mystical streak that responded to the natural environment around them ( Heights 1). Many unique individuals in both sisters lives also influenced their novels since they base many of the main characters in the stories on these individuals. Vividness, cogency, plausibility these attributes of exceptional writing result from characters in both stories exhibiting personalities exactly like ones in the novelists lives. In order to create these characters, Charlotte and Emily Bronte selected an actual living person they knew, collected traits from his or

her personality, and modified this person to make another (Roscoe 51). This background, together with a Gothic setting, convincing characterization, and important literary devices enables Charlotte Bronte in Jane Eyre and Emily Bronte in Wuthering Heights to develop the theme of exploration into different kinds of love. The combination of literary elements from both novels constitute them as Gothic romances. To be considered as such, a story must present a stormy love affair within a violent brooding atmosphere often entwined with supernatural occurrences. The stormy love affair in Jane Eyre exists between Jane and Rochester and, in Wuthering Heights, between Catherine and Heathcliff. Literary critic, David Cecil, observes that love is indeed the central theme of Charlotte and

Emily s stories, for it is inevitably the main preoccupation of such passionate temperaments. Characteristically, the Brontes describe frustrated love, but the fact that it is frustrated does not make the love of their heroines less intense; indeed, it makes it more of an obsession (66). And although this love, which devours life itself, devastates the present, and desolates the future, may seem violent and turbulent, it contains nothing less pure in it than flame or sunshine (Tucker 137). The hero or heroine must also counter threatening circumstances for the story to be classified under the genre of Gothic romance. Under an atmospheric dome of brooding unpredictability as such, Emily Bronte explores the violent and unpredictable elements of human passion in her novel (Dunleavy