Liberal Anguish: Wuthering Heights and the Structures of Liberal Thought
69 Nineteenth Century Literature 1, 2014
25 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2015
Date Written: 2014
After decades of sustained academic critiques along established lines, liberalism has recently attracted renewed evaluations. These readings treat complexity as inherent in liberalism, and proceed to explore its structures beyond suspicious hermeneutics. This essay argues that Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights (1847) constitutes an early and sophisticated argument about the structures of complexity in liberalism. Not only does Bronte's novel merit entry into the discussion as a conceptual contribution, but it also offers an aesthetic enactment of the anguish that liberal structures of complexity were to evoke for generations to follow, an anguish experienced already at its troubled reception.
Keywords: Emily Bronte; Wuthering Heights; Liberalism; promise; money
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