A lot of Wuthering on the Heights

This week’s Victorian Vision Online session has followed on from our brief survey of changing attitudes to the novel from its inception to the later twentieth century in class last week.  The class went away with the first chapter of Terry Eagleton’s Heathcliff and the Great Hunger (Verso, 1995) to read and reflect on, which very clearly designates Heathcliff as Irish.  I’m incredibly impressed with the level of debate and discussion of the novel going on in the Forum this week.  Stormy arguments rage about the extent of Emily Bronte’s conscious awareness of the class and racial issues the students perceive the novel as exploring.   Again I find myself pondering just how involved and passionate students can get over this novel.  It’s as though the passion in the novel spills over into their responses to it.

I discover a monitoring tool within our VLE that means I can see how many times any given student has looked at posts in any given Forum.  I never knew it existed previously and I find myself wondering slightly whether this might in any way influence my marking when I come to do that.  As a  general rule it would probably be true to say that students who show the most engagement with VVO do best, although obviously bald statistics say nothing at all about the quality of students’ posts.  One student has looked at posts in the ‘Heathcliff, It’s Me’ Forum more than 160 times this week.  Wow.  Wow.  Another was posting at 2.30am and 4am this morning.  Dear me.  I don’t want to be held responsible for damaging their social life or sleep patterns…

0 thoughts on “A lot of Wuthering on the Heights

  1. Pingback: Yet more Wuthering on the Heights – Ms E-Mentor

  2. Thanks for leaving your responses to each session, Theresa. It’s good for me to get a sense of what one of the class is actually thinking about the online sessions as they happen. Maybe others of your classmates will also join in too…

  3. I was really excited about this forum. I loved the novel and couldn’t wait to get started on my post. I started reading the class handout as soon as I got home and put the kids to bed.I found Terry Eagletons comments interesting but I disagreed with the notion of Heathcliff being of Irish descent.
    I found George Barnet Smith’s comment that Heathcliff was “the greatest villain extant after Iago”(in class handout) much more inspiring. I drew a comparison between Wuthering Heights and Shakespeare’s Othello as both share the same moral theme as far as the rejection of socially dictated constraints on behaviour are concerned. I felt that Heathcliffs character was better likened to that of Othello’s rather than Iago. Both men were driven to behave badly through the actions of the woman they loved, and the treatment they recieved from those who should be trusted. I also compared Isabella and Catherine senior with Desdemona as all three women died due to rebelling against their social position and love.
    Young Catherine and Hareton, however take Wuthering Heights away from Shakepearian tragedy and move toward Comedy. They are the innocent victims of everyone else’s behaviour, because of this they are eventually restored to their rightful place within society and will live happily ever after.
    My main argument was that Bronte was not identifying the problem’s with immigration, but was showing how the social structure of the time served only to constrain and control, with a place for everyone and everyone in their place.
    Unfortunatley I was unable to complete my argument on time and was unable to post it. I do think the time limit for postings is needed and those who post early tend to get the best responses. I just got too involved with this forum and ran out of time. The fact that only 6 out of 7 posting are needed to gain a good mark does help, although now I know that I have to take part in every remaining forum, this puts a little more pressure on me!
    I did visit the forum several times and added a comment to one, however, I did not manage to reach my usual standard in this instant and am disappointed in myself. … Bring on Bleak House, and redemption!

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