College of Arts and Sciences
Molly Clark Hillard, PhD
When Wuthering Heights was first released in 1846, readers were horrified by the relentless violence which the characters use to communicate hatred, passion, and obsessive love (Baldellou, 148). Although Brontë’s book was first perceived as monstrous, the text is now widely regarded as an epic love story. This shift has largely occurred because of the adaptations of Wuthering Heights which depict the violence within the novel as a feature of idyllic love. This paper examines the differences between the authors’ treatment of domestic violence in Wuthering Heights and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. I argue that in Wuthering Heights Catherine and Heathcliff are denied access to the language of power because of gender and race, causing them to communicate through violence. Their violent communication is a means of survival for the characters, and an exploration of the way marginalized individuals can communicate and align themselves against dominant British culture. By contrast, I contend that Twilight’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights champions violence as attractive—upholding heteronormative gender roles and glamorizing domestic violence. Through investigating the response of adolescents and scholars alike, my paper reveals how Twilight and other adaptations have caused Wuthering Heights to be taught as a romance. To prevent the romanticization of domestic abuse in literature and teen relationships, Wuthering Heights must be read and taught as a revenge novel, not a romance.
"Romanticizing Abuse: Comparing the Depiction of Violence in Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Meyer’s Twilight Series.,"
SUURJ: Seattle University Undergraduate Research Journal: Vol. 3
, Article 12.
Available at: https://scholarworks.seattleu.edu/suurj/vol3/iss1/12