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Feminist Perspective of Wuthering Heights

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The Feminist Critique provides the best perspective of Wuthering Heights and its conflicts. Biggest issue presented by the feminists is the patriarchal ideology which makes for a male dominated society. During the time period in which the book is set in, any property belonging to the woman before marriage is turned over to the husband. Women are also treated as property, they live under their husband's names and no longer own their personal property. In the novel, Thrushcross Grange estate would have been passed on to Isabella's had she not ran off to marry Heathcliff, but since she did, the property she was in line to inherit goes to Heathcliff. Additionally, wives in the novel are treated at times like they are below their husbands. It's as if the phrase, "man of the house", empowers men to do what they want without consequence. For example, in the novel Isabella is beaten by Heathcliff and there isn't much she can do within the law to stop him, unless she were to take him to court. Even then she would have to testify in front of a panel of white men. Men who probably would have no sympathy for a women in her situation. During Brontë's lifetime the law favored men over the women.

I think today the contemporary feminist critics will be most drawn toward how, "the role of film and other popular media" has aided in the "construction of the feminist gender" (Brontë 451). In this generation in particular you find that less people turn to books for entertainment, but instead to film. Movie creators help shape public ideas and culture, oftentimes the public isn't even aware of the way they are being shaped. Best example of this is the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis, the series is about a world beyond our filled with imaginary creatures, and within this fantasy world lies biblical references easy to miss if you aren't religious, but there nonetheless. Feminist critics study these more popular forms of entertainment and raise public awareness of the core patriarchal ideology that may hide beneath the special effects.

Language is very important to a writer and even screen writers because, different words stir different emotions. French Feminists understand the power of words, "they tended to focus their attention on language, analyzing the ways in which meaning is produced." When I was discussing this assignment to my grandmother she brought to my attention an article by George Orwell. Orwell in this article talks about the power of language, and how writers by carefully choosing words can control your thoughts. Language is definitely a tool that feminist critics should focus on, for it can be used to strengthen public awareness of their cause (defeating patriarchal ideology).

Lynn Pykett's feminist critique of Wuthering Heights was very persuasive. Toward the beginning she comments on the Catherine's different last names and how, "Catherine



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