Emily Brontë was born on the 30th of July, 1818 in Thornton, England. She was one of the well-known authors from the Bronte family and daughter of Patrick Brontë, an Irish priest, and author. Her mother, Maria, was a housewife. The family spent early years in Thornton and later moved to Haworth, where her father served as a priest at St Michael and All Angels Church. Unfortunately, on the 15th of September in 1821, her mother died of cancer leaving five daughters and a son in the custody of her sister, Elizabeth Branwell. The early demise of her mother left a permanent tragic mark on the Bronte family.
After Emily’s mother died, she and her sisters were sent to Clergy Daughters’ School at Cowan Bridge. Unfortunately, the school’s poor conditions badly affected their physical development and health. Hence, it became the reason for the early deaths of her sisters, Maria and Elizabeth. After their deaths, she was removed from the school but her passion for reading and writing did not fade away. The remaining sisters and the brother were taught by their kind aunt and father at home. Despite lack of formal education, the children had access to the finest pieces of literature, and among their favorites were, Shelly, Byron, Sir Walter Scott, and Blackwood’s Magazine.
Some Important Facts of Emily’s Life
- The parsonage where she spent much of her time was turned into a museum now run by The Brontë Society.
- Soon after her brother’s death, she too passed away on the 19th of December in 1848.
- Although she received a less formal education, yet her writings continue to mesmerize generations.
Writing was the source of amusement for Bronte’s family. They used to spend their quality time in reading classics and weaving their own stories. After the early demise of their sisters, the remaining children started writing poems and plays, creating a fictional world named Gondal and Angria. Being a shy person, Emily spent most of her time indoor as her attempt to teach at school lasted soon. Like most leading authors of earlier times, she was the product of the environment, and the tragedies she faced during her early years including the time she spent in isolation influenced her writings. During her lifetime, she never had a company of friends; she only loved to express her feelings on paper. In 1845, her sister, Charlotte, discovered her literary pieces and persuaded her to go for publication. Thus, Emily along with her sisters published the collection of poems but the book could not earn a fortune for them. However, they did not give up. The sisters decided to stick to their ambitions and this time they came up with classic novels, that spellbound the readers to this day. Evidence supported that Emily started her masterpiece, Wuthering Heights, in 1845 and it took her six years to complete it. It appeared in 1847 but failed to earn commercial success. However, this publication made her stand out among the great literary figures of that time.
Emily Bronte led a traumatic life. First, she lost her mother in her early years. Later deaths of her siblings made her experience the acute tragedy of life. Despite all these issues, she skillfully utilized her writing abilities. Using her unique style, she portrayed her personal ideas in her literary pieces. Most of her writings are marked by figurative and self-effacing style. As her novel, Wuthering Heights presents the blend of dramatic and poetic renditions. Most of her writings were realistic and drew attention to the problem faced by the people isolated from society. Regarding literary devices, she mostly uses imagery, symbolism and metaphors, while romanticism, loss, love and death are some remarkable themes of her poems.
Some Important Works of Emily Bronte
- Best Poems: She was an outstanding writer. Some of her famous poems include “Faith and Despondency”, “Me Thinks this Heart”, “A Day Dream”, “The Philosopher”, “Plead for Me”, “Encouragement”, “A Little Budding Rose”, “Fall, Leaves, Fall”, “Anticipation”, “A Little While, A Little While”,“ “Remembrance” , “A Death-Scene”, “Come, Walk with Me” ,“At Castle Wood” and “Interrogation.”
- Best Novel: Besides writing poetry, she tried her hands on novel writing. She wrote only one novel, Wuthering Heights, in her life.
Emily Bronte’s Impact on Future Literature
Emily Bronte, with her unique abilities, left profound impacts on global literature. After many years of her demise, her works still enjoy the same prestige. Her witty ideas along with distinct literary qualities won applause from her readers, critics, and other fellow writers. She successfully documented her ideas about love, loss, and alienation in her writings that even today writers try to imitate her unique style, considering her a beacon for writing prose and poetry.
- i am the only being whose doom
No tongue would ask no eye would mourn
I never caused a thought of gloom
A smile of joy since I was born
In secret pleasure — secret tears
This changeful life has slipped away
As friendless after eighteen yearsAs lone as on my natal day. (I Am the Only Being)
- “Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living. You said I killed you–haunt me then. The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe–I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!” (Wuthering Heights)
- “My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.” (Wuthering Heights)