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Full text of "The Brontë sisters"

34                           THE  BRONTE   SISTERS
Heights' windows: "Let me inlet me in!* are almost
unbearably moving.
Another most potent element in the novel is its local
colouring, which occurs in character, speech, and scene.
The setting, the scenery of the book is magnificently York-
shire. Of the wild and sombre moors which surge round
the Heights, Emily gives glorious pictures, in all seasons, in
all weathers. She writes of them in winter, when sky and
sombre hills are mingled in one bitter whirl of wind and
suffocating snow; in spring, when the larks are singing
beneath a blue sky and all the becks are full and running
with a mellow flow; in summer when the bees are humming
dreamily above the purple heather; in the cool of the even-
ing, when beneath a clear spacious sky the pale moths
flutter among the blue harebells. The landscape painting
in this novel is superb, unrivalled in English fiction.
It is this untamed moorland and its untamed characters
who admit no restraint on their fierce passions, which give
Wuthering Heights its incomparable air of dark, wild, stormy
freedom.
But this novel has another, and most noble, element,
which as in her poetry fuses with the local to give her work
its special quality: Emily's comprehension, spacious as the
universe, of the problems of good and evil. Emily shows
us, with a full realization of their evil, the weakness of Edgar,
the silliness of his sister, the cruelty of Heathcliff, the brutality
of Hindley, the egoism of Catherine, as well as the force and
pathos of their griefs and their loves. But, as we have seen
in her poetry, she does not blame faulty mortals for acting
in accordance with the nature fate has given them. Neither
does she exonerate or excuse them; she simply portrays
themwith relentless truth, but also with the compassion
induced by limitless understanding. It is as when above the
wild and sombre moorland, through the dark storm-driven
clouds, appear the serene blue dusk and evening star which
belong to the cosmic heavens. The resulting landscape
has an incomparable majesty and beauty.