The Nature of Wuthering Heights
Nature is always present in the writings of the Brontes. The sisters writing has been called gothic - a darkly evolved form of romanticism involving supernatural, mysterious and sometimes terrifying elements. This defining style of the Bronte sisters is partially due to a well studied literary background compounded with a melancholic disposition no doubt influenced by their life on the dank moors. Yet their inclination towards the dark side of human emotion, particularly in the poetry, is balanced dynamically by an inherited passion for nature from the romantic poets such as Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley who they were versed in and the sisters works are infused with passages describing an affinity with hills, dells, swales, birds and the surrounding moors.
In his essay Romanticism and the Evolution of Consciousness Christopher Bamford (see Keats) describes Romanticism as “a renewed understanding of the primacy, unity, and universality of human beings and nature in consciousness or mind…” and quotes D.T. Suzuki “Nature is already man, otherwise no man could come out of it.” Each reading and rereading of a Bronte novel or poem brings this renewed understanding.
In this selection from Wuthering Heights Catherine describes an earthly dream that is in fact just the nature surrounding her. She could not be more at one with it. Although written as a novel poetry has crept into the prose never the less - enchanting and possessing the listener with the natural forces it describes.
Look for Poets of Nature this Spring at bmastudios.com