The Eventually Lost Wind: A Marxist Interpretation of Wuthering Heights


Class struggle
Violent revolution




Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, as a representative novel in the transformation of British society in the 19th century, reflects the transition of English literature from romanticism to realism. “Wind,” as an important image, appears many times in the novel, runs through the full text, and has important symbolic significance. From the howling wind accompanying Heathcliff’s appearance to the resentment of the wanton wind beating Thrushcross Grange during his revenge, to the wind calming down after Heathcliff’s death, the raging wind is completely integrated with the characters of the novel. Its rise, roar, and calmness all reflect the author’s thoughts on the social reality such as the violent resistance of the yeoman class, the contradiction and union between the peasant group, the land aristocracy and the bourgeoisie, and the gradual annihilation of the yeoman class by the capitalist trend. This paper intends to discuss the image of “wind” in the novel, analyze the theme from the perspective of Marxist criticism, and try to reach the following conclusion: “wind” represents the power of the yeomanry class headed by Heathcliff. It is revolutionary to some extent, but it also has the inherent weaknesses and limitations of the yeoman class. The failure of the yeoman class has its profound social reasons and historical inevitability. At the same time, it also enlightens us that in a capitalist society, the poor people will never get real democracy and freedom.


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