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HO                      THE   BRONTES
Heights is a " Primitive" in literary art. Its
power strikes from its very primitiveness, both of
form and expression. Romanticism, the roman-
ticism of Hoffmann, for instance, of his story,
Die Major at (The Entail)^ quite possibly influ-
enced Emily Bronte's choice of plot. But there
the romantic influence stops and stark realism
begins. The German romantics and their fol-
lowers were not realists ; they were theatrical
through and through, in their dialogue, their
emotions and their morals. Emily's north country
realism, for all that it was concerned with a
" stagey " plot, introduced a note which was com-
pletely foreign to the taste of fiction readers of that
time, a note of primitive passion which not even
Charlotte understood.
The story begins as if it were a diary written by
a Mr. Lockwood, a stranger to the north country,
who announces that his object in renting Thrush-
cross Grange, from which he writes, is to find
solitude. Immediately, however, or so it appears,
upon his arrival, Lockwood had rushed off to pay
a call on his landlord, Mr. Heathcliff-" the
solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with "
- who lived four miles away at a lonely farm
house, Wuthering Heights, " A perfect misan-
thropist's Heaven," and Heathcliff " a capital
fellow," writes Lockwood, on his return from the
visit which, as he describes it, cannot have been
agreeable. Heathcliff received him suspiciously
and no sooner did Lockwood enter the house than
a pack of rough dogs attacked him savagely.
" An absolute tempest of yelping and worrying "