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As a realist work, the novel’s detailed approach to the setting and characters correlates with the values of Victorian realist authors.In addition to being a realist novel, includes elements of the traditional ghost story: ghosts, fear, and folklore.The followed exchange describes how Catherine is coming from the moor and wants to return home: “‘Let me in — let me in! The vision of a ghost causes Catherine to want to leave the Grange, which is sheltered from the moor, and head towards Wuthering Heights, which is surrounded by the moor.
This “twist” is the inclusion of a ghost story as part of the realism in the novel. In an age of realism, believing in ghosts was frowned upon by the educated upper classes; however, the supernatural was still widely believed in the lower class, especially by the lower class in .
As a genre, the ghost story typically includes at least one ghost who is seen, felt, or perceived by a character, the perception of which generally inspires “dread or unease” in the character (ODLT). Nellie claims that “the country folks, if you ask them, would swear on the Bible that he walks: there are those who speak to having met him near the church, and on the moor, and even within this house,” proving that the supernatural does not just exist for the main characters — it is believed in by the lower class as well (430).
Ignoring the ghost story in the novel would be ignoring a part of the story, and, as a former city dweller who prizes rational thought and integrity, it would be unjust for Lockwood to exclude any aspect of the story, even if it seems unscientific.
Despite the scientific nature of realist novels, realism is not limited to merely the factual truth: it must include all aspects of the truth, all points of view, and all versions.
Even though Lockwood, and to some extent Nellie, are uncomfortable talking about supernatural events, they feel it is their duty to tell the entire story regardless of its plausibility.
Smajic writes that holders of the “fixed, stable narrative point of view,” are in a double bind when presenting the supernatural to their audience, since they must deal with the “instinctive faith in the evidence of one’s sight and the troubling knowledge that vision is often deceptive and unreliable” (1109).Catherine is especially hard to forget for Heathcliff, who finds himself believing that “on going out I should meet [Catherine]; when I walked on the moors I should meet her coming in” (293).Even though Catherine is dead, she is very much alive in Heathcliff’s mind, and he expects to find her in the ghostly moors at night.Since the moor is such a supernatural setting, it is realistic to include supernatural events in any realist story set in the moor.The story of could not take place without the ghost story, not only because ghosts belong to the setting and society, but because ghosts and the supernatural are a large part of Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationship.The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms defines realism as “recording or ‘reflecting’ faithfully an actual way of life … the problems of ordinary people in unremarkable circumstances …rendered with close attention to the details of physical setting and to the complexities of social life.” may deal with the supernatural, but both narrators, Lockwood and Nellie, are intent on telling the story of the middle-class Linton, Earnshaw, and Heathcliff families.Lockwood tells Heathcliff that he saw “that minx, Catherine Linton, or Earnshaw, or however she was called — she must have been a changeling — wicked little soul,” which causes Heathcliff to burst into rage, then cry alone: “Come in! When Nellie tells Lockwood that she met a boy on a “dark evening, threatening thunder” who was afraid of the ghost of Heathcliff, she dismisses his fears, saying that he “probably raised the phantoms from thinking, as he traversed the moors alone, on the nonsense he had heard his parents and companions repeat” (430).Yet, she tells him that she is uncomfortable in the house or the dark and is impatient to move back to the Grange (430).The ghost story provides additional detail to the class conflict, setting, characters, and realism in the novel.Ghosts, despite their incredulity in modern science, were an inexplicable, inextricable part of life, and as such, are a part of the realism depicted in .