Tone in Wuthering Heights

Tone in Wuthering Heights

Although not always easy to define, there is always one ever-present element of style in every novel. Often implied, the tone is a vital, if not the most important element of a novel. Through tone, the author’s attitude toward the characters and audience is expressed. The tone helps to convey the meaning of a novel and varies between novels. However in some works, such as Emily Bront?Ÿ?®’s Wuthering Heights, the tone can actually change throughout the work. This passionate novel that tells of a love that endures beyond the grave takes place in two different places, reflected not only by the change in location but also the change in tone. Wuthering Heights gives the story of events occurring on the estates of Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights. Although they lie within miles of each other, they are two very different places. Throughout the novel, the atmosphere of both homes suffers a change due to an individual’s death. This is easy to note upon examining the story in chronological order. At the beginning of the story, Wuthering Heights can be described as happy and joyous (Chapter 4). This is reflected through the use of words such as “kind”, “kissed”, and “laughing”. It shows a pleasant and loving home. However, this feeling soon changes once Heathcliff is brought into the home. The atmosphere is suddenly changed to being dark, gloomy, and uncivilized. Although tone is usually implied, the narrator actually clearly defines the changing impression of the home by stating, “… from the very beginning, he [Heathcliff] bred bad feeling in the house;” (Chapter 4). It is also reflected by the obvious dislike of Heathcliff by others and their sudden change in the disposition. Hindley becomes jealous and reserved, described as having “scorn” and “rage”. Catherine becomes wilder, and Heathcliff is soon proud (Chapter 5). However, because of the use of such words as “black” and “disadvantage” one can see that Heathcliff’s pride is not a p…


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