Date Thesis Awarded

5-2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

English

Advisor

Deborah Morse

Committee Members

Kim Wheatley

Mary Ann Melfi

Claire McKinney

Abstract

The scholarship surrounding the life and works of Emily Brontë is generally divided in two sects. There are those who believe that Emily Brontë, although influenced by her father’s piety and role as a minister of the Church of England, rejected patriarchal Christianity in her works. The other primary body of scholarship argues that Emily Brontë is fundamentally Christian, although somewhat unorthodox. I argue that neither of these depictions of the religion of Emily Brontë are entirely accurate. Although Wuthering Heights itself can be seen as containing profane or heretical elements, such as the rejection of patriarchal Christianity and the profusion of the supernatural, when combined with Emily Brontë’s poetry a much fuller picture emerges. Emily Brontë transforms and critiques, rather than rejects outright, traditional religious attitudes through a duality of profane and sacred imagery in both Wuthering Heights and her poetry.

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