The cuckoo's history: Human nature in wuthering heights

Philosophy and Literature 32 (2):pp. 241-257 (2008)
Wuthering Heights has proved exceptionally elusive to interpretation. By foregrounding the idea of human nature, Darwinian literary theory provides a framework within which we can assimilate previous insights about Wuthering Heights , delineate the norms Brontë shares with her projected audience, analyze her divided impulses, and explain the generic forms in which those impulses manifest themselves. Brontë herself presupposes a folk understanding of human nature in her audience. Evolutionary psychology converges with that folk understanding but provides explanations that are broader and deeper. In addition to its explanatory power, a Darwinian approach has a naturalistic aesthetic dimension that is particularly important for interpreting Wuthering Heights.
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DOI 10.1353/phl.0.0025
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