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Bronte's Portrayal of Death - Wuthering Heights

            As a piece of gothic literature, death is invariably one of the primary aspects of 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte. Having come into contact with loss and grief from a young age – Bronte herself grew up in a motherless household and lost her two eldest sisters to sickness – her portrayal is somewhat unconventional in the spectrum of ways in which her characters internalize grief, but is nonetheless reflective of our own unspoken curiosities of death as well as life thereafter. Throughout the given passage, Bronte's elaborate use of narration and structure to convey hero own unorthodox ideologies forces the reader to ponder their own beliefs. Certainly, in this sense Bronte's portrayal of death is the main appeal of 'Wuthering Heights'.
             From the chapter's inception, Bronte effectively employs Nelly's narration to communicate her own ideas surrounding death. Known to defy Christianity in its traditional form, Nelly's account of events: 'About twelve o'clockwas born the Catherine you sawa puny, seven months' child; and two hours after the mother [Catherine Earnshaw] died,' creates a proximity between life and death and highlights the cyclical, impermanent nature of existence. This also serves to forge the connection between the two generations, and make the readership aware of the parallels as well as the significant changes between the two. That Catherine Linton was born premature – unprepared to face the world – coupled with the adjective 'puny' both implicates the frailty of life and also potentially foreshadows her own childishness and naivety later in life that leads her to become a victim of Heathcliff's interests. Also, that Nelly refers the Catherine by the pronoun 'mother' rather than by name raises the idea of the status and identity bestowed by motherhood, and that Cathy I's original identity will fade with time, being remembered as a mother rather than an individual – the theme of motherless children also being a prominent theme throughout the novel.

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