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Books in Wuthering Heights
|Issue Date: ||2020-03-02 10:56:31 (UTC+8)|
With the exception of a few religious texts, most books in Wuthering Heights appear untitled. It is therefore difficult to know their influence on the fictional characters. Therefore, studies on books in Wuthering Heights tend to be limited to those books with a specific title.
This dissertation argues that, with or without a title, books play a significant role in Wuthering Heights. One measure of this significance is that they are used for various purposes. In this novel, people read books, willingly or not. They scribble on books, treat them violently when they are upset, or give them to others as a gift. In this novel, a book both is a material object and carries symbolic meanings. I argue in this dissertation that both dimensions are closely related to how people in Wuthering Heights deal with conflicts.
This dissertation is divided into three parts. In the first part, I see a book as a space and examine Catherine Earnshaw’s diary written in the book margins. I consider how on the space of her writing, the contents of her diary, and the response of her reader, Lockwood, reveal the importance of books in this novel. In the second part, I discuss how Isabella and Edgar use books as a means to block communication. When Catherine Linton is forced to move to Wuthering Heights, she reads not only to avoid interpersonal interaction but also to escape from unpleasant reality. In the third part, I associate the religious tracts that Joseph forces Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff to read with the religious tracts distributed by Brontë’s contemporary evangelical missions. Although forgiveness, a key Christian virtue, is a prominent theme in these tracts, they do not always succeed in convincing their readers of the importance of practicing this virtue. Brontё hints at this fact by showing that Heathcliff, a vindictive man who never forgives his trespassers, was a reader of religious texts in his childhood. As a didactic tool, religious tracts do not succeed in settling conflicts but create conflicts. Peace is however reestablished when Hareton receives from Catherine Linton her apology and a book whose title and contents are unknown. By the characters’ various uses of books, Brontë highlights the close connection between books and interpersonal conflicts.
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|Source URI: ||http://thesis.lib.nccu.edu.tw/record/#G0105551002|
|Data Type: ||thesis|
|Appears in Collections:||[英國語文學系] 學位論文|
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