Cathy’s Whip and Heathcliff’s Snarl: Control, Violence, Care, and Rights in Wuthering Heights

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


This chapter explores strategies Emily Brontë employs to encourage a better treatment of all animals, human and nonhuman alike. Wuthering Heights most often depicts nonhuman animals as individuals, with their own subjectivities. Brontë’s depiction of nonhuman animals as subjects has particular ramifications when considered in terms of rights violations: in the novel, characters who exert violence against nonhumans inevitably mete out cruelty to humans. Brontë’s effort to write against both behaviors provides a striking example of the shifting position of nonhuman animals in the Victorian age. The shock readers experience at the violence in this novel allows it to be read as sympathetic to current-day ethical movements that consider the benefits of increasing the relational rights of nonhumans.


Brontë, Emily Wuthering Heights Animal ethics Relational rights Power Control 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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