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Bronte: Wuthering Heights

5. Fear, Desire, and the Uncanny

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About this Lecture


In the previous two modules, we saw how Heathcliff’s “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”, his status as a kind of Romantic hero, had two distinct aspects: on the one hand, he is emotionally honest and unpretentious; on the other, he is short-tempered and violent. In this module, we think about the philosophical grounding for this ‘doubleness’ – looking in particular at what Freud called Das Unheimliche, the Uncanny.


In this course we look at several aspects of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. In the first six sections, we focus on Romanticism and what it means to call Heathcliff a Romantic hero. In second six sections, we focus on individual themes in the novel, including the concepts of alienation, madness and hysteria, town and country, nostalgia, and the Gothic.


Alfie Bown is Lecturer in Digital Media Culture and Technology at Royal Holloway, University of London. His principle research interests are in psychoanalysis, digital media, critical theory and videogames, though he has also published in nineteenth-century studies, film studies and medieval studies. He is author of The Playstation Dreamworld (2017) and In the Event of Laughter (2018) among other things. His most recent book is an edited collection of essays entitled Post-Memes: Seizing the Memes of Production (2019).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bown, A. (2018, August 15). Bronte: Wuthering Heights - Fear, Desire, and the Uncanny [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bown, A. "Bronte: Wuthering Heights – Fear, Desire, and the Uncanny." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,