Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and Oroonoko by Aphra Behn - how tragic lives of main characters are perfect examples of the theme of alienation and its effects on man's search for identity.

Essay by HighT16University, Bachelor'sA+, December 2003

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Literature, over time, has emulated the time period and location from which it was derived. Different eras and cultures have produced works that, whether through different writing styles, dialect, or mood, represent the attitudes shared by many of the writer's contemporaries. Thus, we are able to recognize the changes man has endured morally, spiritually, intelligently, and physically throughout history. Furthermore, we characterize these changes and label particular time periods according to the literature they produce. Literature grows with evolving societies in the form of themes represented by its characters. While these themes embrace new viewpoints and styles, an aura of alienation, or the need for characters to search for identity, remains prevalent in the 20th century literature as a timeless and universal theme shared by audiences worldwide throughout history. While Wuthering Heights and Oroonoko were written 50 and 212 years prior to the 20th century by British women, the novels exemplify a mood of alienation, while their characters search for identity, just as contemporary characters in literature carry on this theme.

The main characters of Wuthering Heights and Oroonoko and their tragic lives are perfect examples of the theme of alienation and its effects on man's search for identity.

Wuthering Heights is set in the late 1700's at two neighboring houses in Yorkshire. The protagonist, Heathcliff, and his love, Catherine, fuel a tragic story in which one cannot help but get a feeling of doom. In order to prove the point in question, emphasis must be put on the character of Heathcliff's development throughout the novel. Heathcliff is without an identity as he is an orphan before being adopted by the Earnshaws. His search for his identity hits its highs and lows throughout the book and never comes into true form. One must acknowledge the tragedy of his...