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ROMANTIC ELEMENTS IN WUTHERING HEIGHTS - american romanticism characteristics


The major characteristics of Romanticism can be seen in a reading of Wuthering Heights:
• the imagination is unleashed to explore extreme states of being and experiences
• the love of nature is not presented just in its tranquil and smiling aspects but also appears in its wild, stormy moods
• nature is a living, vitalizing force and offers a refuge from the constraints of civilization
• the passion driving Catherine and Heathcliff and their obsessive love for each other are the center of their being and transcend death
• so great a focus is placed on the individual that society is pushed to the periphery of the action and the reader's consciousness
• the concern with identity and the creation of the self are a primary concern
• childhood and the adult's developing from childhood experiences are presented realistically
• Heathcliff is the Byronic hero; both are rebellious, passionate, misanthropic, isolated, and willful, have mysterious origins, lack family ties, reject external restrictions and control, and seek to resolve their isolation by fusing with a love object
• Hareton is the noble savage and, depending on your reading of the novel, so is Heathcliff
• Brontë experiments with the narrative structure (the Chinese-box structure in which Lockwood narrates what Nelly tells him, who repeats what others told her),
• the taste for local color shows in the portrayal of Yorkshire, its landscape, its folklore, and its people,
• the supernatural or the possibility of the supernatural appears repeatedly

What are the traits of American Romanticism? Characteristics of American Romanticism Romanticism was a reaction to rationalism, as much as it was a result of social changes. As rationalism became more popular, people began questioning the assumption that human nature was rooted in the intellect.