Animal Visions pp 235-266 | Cite as

Respecting and Trusting the Beast

  • Susan Mary PykeEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)


Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847) highlights the modes of responsiveness possible between humans and animals of other species. To consider the question of animal relations in this novel is to consider its heart. Heathcliff relates to other animals as individuals, with no privilege given to the human species. When Cathy refuses her animality, Heathcliff’s responsiveness seems preferable to her uncaring narcissism. In Kathy Acker’s poem “Obsession” (1990), speakers seek cross species communications beyond the limits of human signification. In Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights (2011) and Luis Buñuel’s Abismos de Pasión (1954) cinematic audiences meet the rupturing split gaze of people who are neither human, nor actors, reorienting the human story in Brontë’s Wuthering Heights to one strand of a world threaded through with meaningful human and nonhuman characters. In these literary and cinematic encounters, readers and audiences are encouraged to return differently to creaturely relationships experienced in their physical and imaginative worlds.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Culture and CommunicationUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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