Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Irigarayan Ethics of Love

Shiva Hemmati


This paper examines Emily Brontë’s masterpiece Wuthering Heights (1847) through Irigarayan non-possessive and irreducible love of dual subjects in terms of non-duality within duality to argue how Brontë’s main characters, Catherine and Heathcliff, challenge the traditional hierarchical dualities of patriarchal society of Victorian age through their love relationship. As romantic lovers, they act upon their feelings and desires in contrast to Victorian restrictions and Christian religious tradition that give importance to the soul rather than the body. Catherine and Heathcliff try to express their emotional desire and autonomous being and subjectivity by sharing the same air in the natural landscape of Wuthering Heights, the moors, which allow them the possibility of love. However, they cannot achieve the full measure of non-dual love at the end of the novel due to Catherine’s marriage to Edgar and acceptance of patriarchal dualities represented by the Lintons’ world.



Irigarayan ethics of love; Victorian restrictions; Emotional desire; Subjectivity; Non-duality within duality; Non-dual and non-possessive love; Dual subjects; Autonomous being

Full Text:



--- (1993). An ethics of sexual difference (C. Burk & G. Gill, Trans.). Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

--- (1996). In S. Pluhacek (Trans.), I Love to You. New York: Columbia UP.

--- (2002). In S. Pluhacek (Trans.). The Way of Love. New York: Continuum.

--- (2004). Key writings. London: Continuum.

---, Hirsch, E., & Olson, G. A. (1995). “‘Je-Luce Irigaray’: A Meeting with Luce Irigaray.” Hypatia, 10(2), 93-114.

Apter, T. E. (1976). Romanticism and romantic love in Wuthering Heights. In A. Smith (Ed.), The art of Emily Brontë (pp.205-222). London: Vision Press.

Bhattacharyya, J. (2007). Emily Brontë’sWuthering Heights. London: Atlantic Publishing.

Braithwaite, W. S. (1950). The Bewitched Parsonage: The Story of the Brontës. New York: Coward-McCann Inc.

Brontë, E. (1994). Wuthering Heights. Oxford World’s Classics edition. New York: Penguin.

Cecil, D. (1958). Victorian novelists: Dickens, Thackeray, The Brontës, Mrs. Gaskell, Trollope, Eliot. London: Phoenix Books.

Gilbert, S. M., & Gubar, S. (1979). The madwoman in the attic: The woman writer and the nineteenth-century literary imagination. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press.

Gold, L. (1985). Catherine Earnshaw: Mother and daughter. English Journal, 74(3), 68-73.

Irigaray, L. (1985). This sex which is not one. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Kettle, A. (1970). Brontë: Wuthering heights (1847). In Watt. Ian. (Ed.), The Victorian novel. New York: Oxford University Press.

Mitchell, S. (1981). The fallen angel: Chastity, class, and women’s reading, 1835-1880. Ohio: Bowling Green University Popular Press.

Thaden, B. Z (2003). Gender roles in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Women in Literature: Reading through the Lens of Gender (J. Fisher & E. S. Silber, Eds.). Greenwood Publishing Group.

Visick, M. (1967). The Genesis of ‘Wuthering Heights. Hong Kong University Press.

Whitford, M. (1991). Luce Irigaray: Philosophy in the Feminine. New York: Routledge.

Wion, P. K. (2003). The absent mother in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (2nd ed. W. Heights & L. Peterson, Ed.). Boston: Bedford/St Martin.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11124


Copyright (c) 2019 Shiva Hemmati

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


Online Submissionhttp://cscanada.org/index.php/sll/submission/wizard


How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; sll@cscanada.net; sll@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net; Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mailoffice@cscanada.net; office@cscanada.org; caooc@hotmail.com

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture