Friday, October 24, 2008

Wuthering Heights - Discussion Questions

1. To what extent do you think the setting of the novel contributes to, or informs, what takes place? Do you think the moors are a character in their own right? How do you interpret Bronte's view of nature and the landscape?

2. Discuss Emily Bronte's careful attention to a rigid timeline and the role of the novel as a sober historical document. How is this significant, particularly in light of the turbulent action within? What other contrasts within the novel strike you, and why? How are these contrasts important, and how do they play out in the novel?

3. In many ways, Wuthering Heights structures itself around matched, contrasting pairs of themes and of characters. What are some of these pairs, and what role do they play in the book?

4. Do you think the novel is a tale of redemption, despair, or both? Discuss the novel's meaning to you. Do you think the novel's moral content dictates one choice over the other?

5. Do you think Bronte succeeds in creating three-dimensional figures in
Heathcliff and Cathy, particularly given their larger-than-life metaphysical passion? Why or why not?

6. Discuss Bronte's use of twos: Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange; two families, each with two children; two couples (Catherine and Edgar, and Heathcliff and Isabella); two narrators; the doubling-up of names. What is Bronte's intention here? Discuss.

7. Many of the names in Wuthering Heights are strikingly similar. For example, besides the two Catherines, there are a number of Lintons, Earnshaws, and Heathcliffs whose names vary only slightly. What role do specific names play in Wuthering Heights?

8. How do Mr. Lockwood and Nelly Dean influence the story as narrators? Do you think they are completely reliable and trustworthy observers? Why or why not? With particular reference to Nelly's story, consider what might be gained from reading between the lines of the narration. What roles do the personalities of the narrators play in the way that the story is told? What does Bronte want us to believe?

9. Discuss the role of women in Wuthering Heights. Is their depiction typical of Bronte's time, or not? Do you think Bronte's characterizations of women mark her as a pioneer ahead of her time or not?

10. What role does social class and class ambiguity play in Wuthering Heights? To what extent is Heathcliff's social position responsible for the misery and conflict so persistent in the book?

11. Analyze the character of Edgar Linton. Is he a sympathetic figure? How does he compare to Heathcliff? Is Catherine really in love with him?

12. Who or what does Heathcliff represent in the novel? Is he a force of evil or a victim of it?How important is the role of class in the novel, particularly as it relates to Heathcliff and his life?

13) If Heathcliff had fallen in love with Jane Eyre or Elizabeth Bennett instead of Cathy, do you think his house would have burned down?

14) If Heathcliff were alive today, would he mention Cathy’s death on his Facebook page and change his relationship status to “It’s complicated”?

Sometimes it is difficult to Read some Classics so here is a site that is really good and gives you a run down of the story, Characters and also time line ..........

Looking forward to reading this book again as I read back in school and I hope to appreciate it abit better now !!!

So if anyone wants to join us this month in reading pick up your copy of Wuthering Heights

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