Unwelcomed Civilization: Emily Brontë’s Symbolic Anti-Patriarchy in Wuthering Heights

Moussa Pourya Asl, Ahad Mehrvand


This study aims to show how Emily Brontë’s opposing attitude to civilization in Wuthering Heights reveals to a certain degree her unconscious opposition to authority and accordingly her obsession with the notion of a world in which the father figure is finally slain. The research approach adopted in this study is what is referred to as psychobiography or the Freudian psychoanalytic criticism. Freud's ideas have been employed due to the increasing shift to him in the recent decades, particularly in the discipline of psychobiography. The findings of this research underline that in Wuthering Heights, through Catherine's symbolic fall, not into heaven, but into hell, and through her strong feelings of nostalgia for a lost freedom and happiness, Emily Brontë calls into question the values of patriarchal culture and its code of conduct. The main conclusion to be drawn from this article is that whatever the benefits of civilization—which is intrinsically and necessarily patriarchal in nature—may be, the limitations imposed on its citizens are not at all welcomed.

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International Journal of Comparative Literature and Translation Studies

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