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Sample Annotated Bibliography Paper

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Sample Annotated Bibliography Paper

Meyer, Susan. “‘Your Father was Emperor of China, and Your Mother an Indian Queen’: Reverse Imperialism in Wuthering Heights.” In Imperialism at Home: Race and Victorian Women’s Fiction, 96–125. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996

This book presents an analysis of Emily Bronte’s work “Wuthering Heights” where she basically writes about an imaginary imperialism in Gondal, an imaginary tropical colony Gaaldine located in North Pacific. According to Meyer, Bronte in her “Wuthering Heights” novel was writing about an imaginary colonial world where subjects were being oppressed by their masters. Nonetheless, the major pre-occupation of this novel is the idea of racism which has occupied a central place in this colonial world. In essence, a further scrutiny of Bronte’s main argument in this work is to critique the 19th century British imperialism.

The height of this racism is manifested in various ways such as when Heathcliff and Cathering, two children from different races living in the Wuthering Heights ( the imaginary colonial world) are captured by the Lintons ( the natives of this land), subjected to intensive inspection. This scrutiny was essentially meant to find out their social class. When it was found that Heathcliff was of different race, and that he was living in a class which members of his race were not supposed to, he was relegated to what was supposed to be their social order. In fact, they go further to ridicule the captives while labeling them as people with primitive features and actions which did not deserve to be in their country. This simply translates that there was social and economic segregation of the highest order in this part of the world.

In this book, Bronte stresses the height of racial arrogance manifesting itself in Wuthering Heights.  At one time, Healthclff is being pulled under a chandelier, subjected under intense scrutiny, as if he was a strange specifies from another planet and punished just because he belongs to another race. According to Linton, the one who is conducting the scrutiny, the boy belongs to a race that is subject to European imperialism. Interestingly, Catherine who is the girlfriend of Healthclff loves on hearing the horrific commentary by Linton towards his boyfriend. This shows a high level of moral and literal myopia by the Lintons alongside the racial arrogance.

However, Bronte also attempts to bring out the true status and perspective of these dark skinned people and their potential that is outside the understanding of the colonial masters. For instance, contrary to the general assumption by the Linton’s that Healthclff is a criminal “since people of his race mostly  exhibit criminal behavior”  he does not portray any criminal feature , he works hard in his trade to the point of amazing wealth through his hard work and does not form alliances with other workers.

Through this depiction, Bronte’s main argument is to showcase that British imperialism does injustice to people of a different race, particularly dark skinned populace by always presenting a negative attitude on them and pre-judging them as individuals and as a group. The author reiterates that this should not be so as each individual or group of people are unique in their own rights.

Meyer, Susan’s argument in this analysis is that some writers have resorted to exaggerating the aspect of racism by the British. According to her, the presentation of a section of Britons and their reactions towards people of dark races is biased since there are a vast majority without that kind of attitude.



Meyer, Susan. “‘Your Father was Emperor of China, and Your Mother an Indian Queen’: Reverse Imperialism in Wuthering Heights.” In Imperialism at Home: Race and Victorian Women’s Fiction, 96–125. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1996







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