RE-DEFINING WOMEN IN WUTHERING HEIGHTS THROUGH THE TRANSGRESSION OF BORDERS

The 19th century literature displays a specific image of the power relations between men and women: one of the most important aspects in the treatment of the female figure in this period was the setting in which she was placed. A distinctive borderline is drawn between the male public life and the female private existence. Therefore, women were restricted to domestic roles (taking care of the house and children) and to a biological function whereas men were allowed to lead an independent and public existence. In Wuthering Heights the known concepts of public and private space are replaced by heaven and hell. The two houses are opposed to each other, as if each of them must through its very existence deny the other; still along the years ‘hell’ becomes heaven and ‘heaven’ becomes hell, though they are not strictly separated by borderlines. This paper intends to be an analysis of the transgression of these borderlines and of the effects produced on the female characters.

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