Questions for consideration. Wuthering Heights
1. Terry Eagleton argues that "Hareton’s social class is swallowed up into the beginning of the Grange." Argue for or against this statement. You may not be able to fully address this issue until you have finished the novel.
2. How does the initial impression of Heathcliff as seen through Lockwood’s eyes affect our "reading" of Heathcliff?
3. Note the "threshold" on page 14 and discuss the various thresholds in the novel. What worlds or chronotopes are being separated?
4. Look up the word confidence in the OED. There are unusual meanings here.
5. Look up pity, empathy, social intercourse in the OED. Find a pattern in the book that illustrates the multiple meanngs.
6. Look at and discuss the implications in Lockwood’s response when he "shrunk icily into himself like a snail." Look for further signs regarding the character of Lockwood. Look especially in Chapters 1 through 3.
7. Netty’s narrative presents another point of view. How different is Netty’s view from Lockwood"s? Give one clear example. There are many points of view available in this novel. Compare and contrast at least three of them.
8. Find several examples of descriptions of the moor. The setting in this novel permeates its characters. Look for and discuss the implications of personifications of the moor in the characters’ speech and actions.
9. Diachronic versus synchronic time. Find an example in WH to illustrate the conflict.
10. Compare the physical structure of the Grange with Wuthering Heights.
11. Draw a chronology of Earnshaws and the Lintons. There is one at the back of the book (290, 296-97), but it will be more helpful to you if you draw your own, adding characteristics and details to each of the characters as you draw your diagram.
12. Faces are often depicted as landscapes. Give a few examples.
13. Notice the "freeze-frame" or tableau vivant moments in the text. How might these pictorial elements be connected to the development of photography. You may have to look in an encyclopedia here for a thorough answer to this questions.
14. 13.Remembering our discussion in class about the Oedipal myth, discuss a few examples of the tension in the text that may relate to this myth. The relationship of child to mother? To father? To the development of language?
15. In applying some of the ideas we find in Freud’s essay on "The Uncanny" we can see the repetition principle and the further idea of repression in the novel. Find and examine a few incidents.
16. There are, according to various critics, several "fissures" or gaps in the text. Find one and discuss.
17. Look at the tensions involved in the ideas of death, dying, dream, and living. These are broad thematic issues, but they do work themselves into patterns in the novel. Find some patterns and problems inherent in the depiction of these ideas.
18. We see people and feelings being substituted in a number of different ways. The principle of substitution is closely connected to the principle of repetition, but find a few incidents in which they differ.
19. "I sought, and soon discovered, the three head-stones on the slope next to the moor-the midde one grey, and half buried in heath . . . imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleeper in that quiet earth" (266). The surface of this text is literal and realistic. Examine and discuss the irony and the implications of the passage. Look at the various tropes carefully.
20. Dionysian and Apollonian are two tensions that enhance the workings in the novel. Examine how these two ideas intensify our sense of the tragic in the narrative.