Wuthering Heights was published in 1847. It had a mixed reception, with some critics finding it shocking and disturbing. The novel contains elements of gothic literature – a genre which was popular in the late 18th century – such as a wild, mysterious location; hauntings and ghosts; violence and passion. However, Brontë was writing when the popularity of the gothic genre was in decline, and her characters are more detailed and nuanced than those in a gothic novel. The novel also covers complex themes of social class and morality, and provides a realistic portrayal of rural life during the early Victorian era. It is agreed to be one of the most important Victorian novels.
Explain the narrative structure of the novel (Lockwood recounts the events through his diary, and Nelly recounts orally), and the use of the framing device. Students work in pairs to discuss if the narrators are unreliable and whether we can trust their version of events.
a good and evil
b chaos and order
c obsession and love
"Soon I was asleep and dreaming again. In my dream, I could still hear the tree branch banging on the window. In my dream, I sat up to open the window so I could stop the noise of the branch. The window would not open so I smashed my hand through the glass. I got hold of the branch to break it off. But, to my horror, it was not a branch. It was a small, cold hand.
‘Let me in,’ a child’s voice cried.
‘Who are you?’ I asked.
I tried to take my hand away, but the child would not let go of it.
‘I’m Catherine Linton. I’ve come home,’ the voice said.
As the voice spoke, I saw the child’s face through the broken window. I was terrified and the child would not let go of my hand. My terror made me cruel and I pulled the hand against the broken glass. Blood ran down onto the bed.
Again the voice cried, ‘Let me in! Let me in!’
‘I’ll never let you in,’ I cried. ‘If you asked for twenty years, I would not let you in!’
‘Twenty years…’ the voice replied. ‘I’ve been out here for twenty years.’
I was so terrified that I shouted out and woke myself up. I also woke up my landlord who came running into the room.
‘Mr Lockwood!’ shouted Heathcliff. ‘What are you doing in here? Who let you sleep in this room?’
He was white with fear and he was trembling.
‘Zillah brought me here!’ I cried. I was still trembling after my terrible dream. ‘She shouldn’t have made me sleep in a haunted room.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I was attacked,’ I replied. ‘I was attacked by the ghost of Catherine Linton.’ And I told Heathcliff about my dreams.
At first, Heathcliff looked angry. Then he said quietly that I must sleep in his own room for the rest of the night.
I turned to leave the room, but then I looked back. I don’t know why. And I saw something very strange.
Heathcliff pulled open the window. He got onto the bed and put his head out of the window. Tears were pouring down his face.
‘Cathy, come in! Come in!’ he cried. ‘Cathy, come to me this time. Cathy, my darling – hear me, please!’
I was very upset. I went downstairs and stayed for the rest of the night in the kitchen."
The students will be given 10 minutes to read the excerpt given. After that, in pairs, students think about where the listed main themes are evident in the excerpt. Finishing the discussion, the students will have to present their ideas in front of the class in order to share their thoughts with the class.
Fluency - (20%)
Grammar - (20%)
Eye Contact - (10%)
Content - (50%)
At the end of the lesson, students will know more about the story Wuthering Heights and how the concepts are used in the writing, increasing their knowledge of literature. At the same time, presenting in front of the class will boost their confidence.
Gateway 2nd Edition B2 Units 1-2 Literature