Bronte’s Wuthering Heights: Fantasy and Realism

Lesson rationale

Students will consider the two elements of fantasy and realism that combine to create the compelling narrative in Wuthering Heights (1847). Emily Brontë’s novel belongs to the Gothic genre and the setting of the Yorkshire moors is sublime. However, it also contains significant commentary on social and economic concerns. In this activity, students will explore the significance of nature within the narrative, its Gothic elements, and the backdrop of Northern industrialisation.

Key questions in this lesson:

  • How does Brontë construct elements of the Gothic genre within the novel?
  • How do descriptions of the landscape add to both the real and fantastical nature of the narrative form?
  • What are the differing realistic perspectives from which to analyse and interpret the novel?