Wuthering Heights Review of the poem wuthering heights by Sylvia Plath Textual Analysis From the title we can assume that we are on the Yorkshire moors, although Heathcliff is conspicuous by his absence. We assume the first person of the poem is a woman, probably Sylvia herself.
The faggots or fire twigs that surround her are the landscape, which is rugged, possibly moraine and the instability may well be partly underfoot rather than wholly visual.
The fire wood device is then used to indicate there is no sunset. She rimes singe and orange * to indicate the use of another sense, the acrid smell of moorland perhaps. This also gives the impression of cold and a desire to be warm.
The perspective vanishing point is indefinable on this landscape and the sky is some nebulous canopy held down by the dark 'log like' horizon.
This picture is however even less solid as the observer walks, and as she walks she compares this landscape to promises yet to be fulfilled.
Maybe never to be fulfilled This stanza has the theme of instability, evaporation and dissolution. As though her life has an, as yet undefined, lack of meaning.
The sheep have their heads down eating. Their hearts are the same height as the longest grass.
She compares the wind with the passage of time and the inevitability of her own death. The wind is taking heat from her and, if she stays here, it will take her life as well. In short she is aware of the onset of hypothermia.
3 The sheep know they exist and have no questions. They are a reflection of and even a part of the sky and landscape. The blackness behind the sheep's eyes is infinite compared with the finite realm the observer inhabits. She realises, dispite being drawn to their stair, that her image is ultimately insignificant and meaningless.
She then compares the sheep to wolves, again the theme of age and death occurs, their voices speaking to her in cold tones. Does this reflect her own experience, and maybe she does not wish to become either a sheep or a grandmother.
4 Man made marks appear on the landscape in this stanza. But wheel ruts and even a ruined, once solid, building has little lasting affect on the landscape. In the same way she is not able to grasp the solitude and take much benefit from it.
The black stone could be the remains of a hearth or perhaps indicating a grave stones Limped and lintel are featured words of opposite meaning emphasising the transitory nature of existence. The only sounds are of the moor but man has had an effect on it.
5 We are now on firmer ground both literally and metaphorically. The sky leaning on the observer now shows an oppressive nature, as opposed to the canopy and clouds of earlier. The fact it leans on her indicates she has a surer footing.
By this she indicates that she dislikes her role in society seemingly being oppressed by it .
The grass is too delicate, indicates she is too sensitive for some things in her life , but she is afraid of the alternative 'darkness terrifies'.
She is afraid of death and a has dislike of her implied sexual obligations, narrow valleys, purses etc.. Finally she has opted to go back to her house, not described as warm, and her life which she compares with small change.
Overview Seeing this poem as a whole it can on one level be seen as a rather miserable and cold trudge across a piece of moorland in the fading light.
On the metaphoric level it is an exploration of brooding solitude and the disparate nature of the authors existence.
* It is well known that there is no direct word rhyme for orange, the nearest rhyme I have heard is door hinge.