The Gothic Body and Resurrection in Wuthering Heights and The Fall of the House of Usher

Document Type : Original Article


MA student, School of Foreign Studies, University of Science and Technology Beijing


Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847) and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher (1839) are the best representative of the Gothic works in British and American literature. Not only do they inherit the Gothic traditions, they also put forward the genre by creating their own country’s styles. Poe founds the traditional writing mode of American psychological and introverted Gothic by creating “the terror of the soul”, meanwhile, Brontë undercuts the distinction between Gothic and domestic narratives in the nineteenth century British literary history. In depicting Madeline Usher’s Gothic death, mysterious resurrection and the disembodiment and mental breakdown of Roderick Usher, Poe, presents the incest-taboo, his view of after-life and the ghost haunting the House of Usher, the text and democratic America. Brontë, on the other hand, portraying Catherine Earnshaw’s death and ghost, Heathcliff’s revenge and dubious identity, suggests the instability caused by slavery, racial and colonial issues, Gothic and domestic novels, which makes the novel becomes the dark secret at the heart of the history of literature.