Emily Bronte – Facts of Life
“Emily Bronte was born on July 30, 1818, in a village located in Thornton, Yorkshire, England. She had five other siblings but sadly lost her mother to cancer when she was only three years old. Emily was extremely shy and loved animals. She had a passionate nature and wrote several poems with her two sisters in 1845. They published the poems under pseudonyms, which began her literary endeavors. Emily began her teaching career at Law Hill School in November of 1837; however, her fragile health could not withstand the long 17-hour work days. Therefore, she stayed at home and spent the majority of her time playing the piano and reading novels. The following March, Bronte and her sister Charlotte went to Brussels to study, but the sudden death of their aunt caused them to come back home. On December 1987, she published Wuthering Heights which was initially criticized for being too primitive and clumsy in construction. Sadly, soon after publishing Wuthering Heights, she fell ill and died of tuberculosis in December of 1848. Queen Victoria’s coronation marks the beginning of the Victorian era in 1837.
Since Bronte was born in 1818, she was fifteen years old during her crowning. Therefore, she was heavily influenced by the events that took place once she was Queen. During this time period, citizens felt that they had the social responsibility to help out the poor; writers such as Bronte often believed they should use their work to set a good example of how society should be. Women were under the strict control of their husbands, and there were strict social codes that the majority of society lived by. Since women were seen as the property, they were typically expected to give all their possessions to their husbands once they got married and downplay their sexuality in public. However, in Wuthering Heights, Emily does not abide by these strict social standards. This oppressive morality that was extremely prevalent at the time largely affected Emily Bronte’s upbringing. Additionally, pressure was rising between social classes in England during Bronte’s upbringing. Typically, classes tended to marry within their ranks to make sure that their social classes were “pure”. However, this does not happen in Wuthering Heights. These factors caused critics to view Wuthering Heights in an unfavorable light for defying social standards of the time.”
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