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Wuthering Heights and Use of Force

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:02 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54.6 
  • Words: 1978
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The short story “Use of Force” shows the forces of nature clashing in man vs. man conflict and physical conflict. This conflict is also seen in Wuthering Heights and is displayed through the positioning of the reader by the narrator. In both these texts, this conflict ……

Both Bronte and Williams effectively position the reader to accept or reject characters, through the narrator, which helps the reader in relating with situations and understanding conflict. This happens at the beginning of “Use of Force” when the reader is positioned to admire and feel compassion for the child Mathilda,

“Unusually attractive little thing, and as strong as a heifer in appearance, but her face was flushed, she was breathing rapidly and I realized she had a high fever.” (Paragraph 4)

This device allows the reader to feel for the sick child and easily understand the unsaid conflict between her and the doctor. In Wuthering Heights a similar method is used by Bronte, when describing characters. For instance,

“Joseph was an elderly, nay, old man, very old, perhaps, though hale and sinewy… looking in my face so sourly” (Chapter I, page 4)

By putting in sourly, Bronte has put the reader into a position where they reject Joseph, as he seems to have a negative personality where he doesn’t conform. This is demonstrated more throughout the story.

Man vs. man conflict is displayed very effectively through the parallel of the child vs. the doctor in “Use of Force”. Mathilda is scared of the doctor and becomes defensive when he tries to open her mouth. This unco-operative behaviour forces the doctor to turn physical, and on approaching her, she too gets physical,

“She knocked my glasses flying and they fell although unbroken, several feet away from me.” (Paragraph 13)

This physical conflict is also explored in Wuthering Heights between Hindley and Heathcliff. Heathcliff takes Hindley’s physical abuse and doesn’t retaliate,...


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