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Trivia Quiz for Emily Brontë, “Wuthering Heights”

Trivia Quiz for Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (1847)

For West Seattle “Classic Novels (and Movies)” book club, 4/23/23

With the answers below

Brontë’s Style: Yorkshire Gothic

1. Narrative accountability. Brontë presents this tale as a series of eye-witness accounts of events by several people. Which one of the following is not a narrator in Wuthering Heights?

a. Ellen Dean (aka Nelly), a long-time servant         

b. Joseph, a long-time servant

c. Mr. Lockwood, a tenant                                        

d. Zillah, a long-time servant

2. Psychological realism. In order to fill in the backstory, the author employs other genres and narrative devices. Which one device is absent from Wuthering Heights?

a. newspaper articles             

b. personal letters                  

c. diary entries           

d. dreams

3. The Ominous Setting. Which one of the following is not a danger inherent in the setting?

a. bleak winds            

b. bitter, northern skies                      

c. enemy soldiers and roaming bandits

d. dilatory country surgeons                          

e. impassible roads                

4. Gothic conventions and echoes. Which one of the following is not from Wuthering Heights?

a. The solitary landlord greets a visitor by saying: “Guests are so exceedingly rare in this house…”

b. Caught by some vicious guard dogs, the narrator says, “I was forced to lie until their malignant masters pleased to deliver me.”

c. A person recalls, “The intense horror of nightmare came over me; I tried to draw back my hand, my arm, but, the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, ‘Let me in—let me in!’”

d. One narrator claims: “they had so many queer goings on, she could not begin to be curious.”

e. We learn that the local people make a gesture by raising both arms in a cross, and put a lot of cumin in their food, to ward off what they call “the evil eye”.

5. The Scary House. Which one of the following is not mentioned as an aspect of the manor named “Wuthering Heights”?

a. The word “wuthering” is a provincial adjective, typical of Yorkshire.

b. “Wuthering” describes atmospheric tumult, stormy weather.

c. The well behind the house, full of stagnant water, attracts weird black birds that screech at night.

d. The house is surrounded by “a range of gaunt thorns all stretching their limbs one way, as if craving alms of the sun”.

e. The corners of the house are “defended with large jutting stones”.

6. A Mysterious hero or villain. The character named Heathcliff enters the story cloaked in an aura of mystery. Which one of the following traits is not attributed to him?

a. As an adult, Heathcliff is described as “he is a dark-skinned gypsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman … rather slovenly, perhaps”

b. Mr. Earnshaw, Sr. brought the nameless child home from Liverpool, 60 miles distant, because he was “determined he would not leave it as he had found it .. starving and houseless, as good as dumb.”

c. The name Heathcliff is given him in honor of the landscape where his adoptive family lives, full of rambling heaths and high cliffs looking out over the English Channel.

d. The neighbors speak of hm as “a strange acquisition”; “an American or Spanish castaway”

e. As a child he was prone to say things such as: “I shall be as dirty as I please, and I like to be dirty.”

7. Violence! Wuthering Heights includes numerous scenes of violence and gruesome memories, including all but which one of the following?

a. Upon entering the parlor, the narrator thinks he sees some cats curled up in a chair, but it is actually a heap of dead rats and baby foxes

b. A typical exchange between family members includes threats such as: “’show him what you are, imp of Satan—And take that, I hope he’ll kick out your brains!’”

c. A boy responds to a perceived insult by seizing a tureen of hot applesauce and throwing it in the face of his neighbor.

d. One person saves a child from certain death, after the child’s own father throws him out a window.

e. A character warns another: “You must avoid putting me in a passion, or I shall really murder you, some time!”

8. Maxims and life lessons. Emily Brontë tucks numerous proverbs and precepts into her narrative, including all but one of the following. Which one does not ring true?

a. “What vain weather-cocks we are!”

b. “It’s only a bad woman herself that is likely to be very kind to another woman that needs kindness.”

c. “We don’t in general take to foreigners here … unless they take to us first.”

d. “Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.”

e. “Take my books away, and I should be desperate!”

f. “A guest that is safe from repeating his visit, can generally be made welcome.”

9.  Medicine’s Failures. Which one of the following ailments is not mentioned in this novel?

a. brain fever  

b. colds          

c. breast cancer          

c. death in childbirth 

d. listless apathy

e. bog water in the head

10. Threats and Dangerous Wishes. Which one of the following is not in Wuthering Heights?

a. “May you not rest, as long as I am living!”

b. “It’s because she started praying over me. She ought not to started praying over me.”

c. “I want the triumph of seeing my descendant fairly lord of their estates; my child hiring their children, to till their fathers’ lands for wages”

d. “Oh, God! It is a long fight, I wish it were over!”


1. b.

2. a.

3. c.

4. e.

5. c.

6. c.

7. a.  (It’s actually dead rabbits heaped on a chair.)

8. b. That line is from Faulkner, Light in August.

9. c.

10. b. That line is also from Faulkner, Light in August.

Come back next month, for our quiz on Dead Souls (Russian: «Мёртвые души»), a novel by Nikolai Gogol, first published in 1842, and widely regarded as an exemplar of 19th-century Russian literature. 

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here’s to you, future!


And what is the Future, happy one?

—A sea beneath a cloudless sun:

A mighty glorious dazzling sea

Stretching into Infinity.


–from Emily Brontë, Poems, 1910 (third stanza)

but first, we have some traveling to do–about 2,160 miles!

Bye-bye South Bend, au revoir les amis, adieu Notre Dame. 

Indiana toll road.jpg

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welcome present!

bird on a branch june 26.jpg

Tell me, what is the Present hour?

—A green and flowery spray,

Where a young bird sits gathering its power

To mount and fly away

–from Emily Brontë, Poems, 1910  (second stanza)

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farewell to the past…

View from Max's room Nov 28 2017

Today, tomorrow, and Thursday, we post the first three stanzas of a poem by Emily Brontë about the past, the present, and the future. I do this in homage to you readers, friends and fellow seekers, and to wish you well on whatever journey you are on. As my journey to the West progresses, I’ll post on … well, whatever happens!


Tell me, tell me, smiling child,

What the Past is like to thee.

—An autumn evening soft and mild

With a wind that sighs mournfully.

–from Emily Brontë, Poems, 1910