Wordsworth, The Romantics and Withering Frights!

I enjoyed very much this morning talking to you about one of my alltime favourite poems “Resolution and Independence” in which William Wordsworth celebrates the way his experience of life was profoundly challenged by meeting with a really old Leech Gatherer. This man had the “Resolution and Independence” which Wordsworth himself felt lacking in his own unstable emotional life.

We then turned attention to Withering Frights (otherwise known as Wuthering Heights). It was great to be able to get across what I think is the core message of the novel, namely Catherine’s yearning to find expression for the truest part of her soul- a yearning that every human being deeply shares. In tutorials we then had a wonderful time hearing everyone’s experience of this novel , with a special focus on those who really found the language difficult. So the class provided many helpful strategies for how to cope with the obstacles of reading Nineteenth Century literature. Thank you all! Some great ideas emerged, all embodied in these attached recordings. Underneath these find some of the white-board shots and then also a raft of new Blogging Topics, to take you into next week…




New Blog Topics


1/ What obstacles did you face in trying to read Wuthering Heights and how did today’s tutorial help you to work a way around some of those obstacles? What are your plans for taking action on the obstacles that you face(d)?

2/ In the voice of Heathcliffe, tell the world that you are not a destructive demon but that you embody the force of the daemon who could bring positive change to the world.


3/ What impression did Wordsworth’s poem “Resolution and Independence” make on you? Can you describe someone from your own experience who embodies some of the qualities that Wordsworth found in the Leach Gatherer?


4/ Write your own poem beginning with any of the following lines from Emily Bronte’s poems:

I’m happiest when most away….

No coward soul is mine….


5/ Write a character sketch of Emily Bronte basing all your comments on what you can see in this painting created by her brother Bramwell.

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