The Bronte Sisters - How Childhood Affects a Novel.

Essay by yieldsign2High School, 11th gradeA+, June 2003

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Although Charlotte and Emily Bronte grew up in the same environment, the experiences each took from her childhood and how she adapted them in her brilliant novel differs greatly. Although the style and structure of the two most famous Bronte novels - Charlotte's Jane Eyre and Emily's Wuthering Heights - are similar, the themes, characters, and basic plot are contrasting. While Charlotte's novel focuses on one girl's journey through life and hardship, Wuthering Heights takes a journey through the world of love and hatred by comparing and contrasting three different and intertwining situations. The Bronte sisters bring forth the question of genetic and environmental influences on a person's character. Both girls grew up in the same house, under the same strict rule, and were born of the same parents, yet they are as different as the sun and the moon. The Bronte sisters and their lives are, to say the least, intriguing.

The Bronte family lived in Haworth Parsonage in Yorkshire. Their home was surrounded by moors, but was bleak, dead, and isolated. Their environment symbolizes their life as a whole - uninteresting and mild - yet it is that same environment that led Emily and Charlotte to write wonderful poetry and novels mirroring their lives. The family consisted of Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily Jane, Anne, and others who died as infants. Branwell, the only male child, was an alcoholic and drug addict, and hurt his sisters emotionally. He, along with his father, are represented in Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre as the powerful, hurtful, and dominant men who try to control the women. The Brontes were an odd and anti-social family, but their need for self-entertainment led to great storytelling, and in turn led to some of the most highly regarded novels to date.

Patrick Bronte, a Puritan...