Emily Bronte's The Night in AQA Anthology
Submitted by Janet Lewison on 16 March 2011
Emily Bronte's poem reveals her profound affinity with her natural surroundings. These bleak details reflect her literal 'captivation' by nature's uncompromising self. Although she names the 'tyrant spell' as the supernatural reason for remaining outside, battling stormy weather and circumstance, In cannot help but feel she finds such a spell irresistible and 'mesmerising'. Hence she declares with her fierce honesty at the end of the poem: 'I will not, cannot go', modifying the repetition that has formed the spine of the poem before. Perhaps the poem is also suggestive of her own unconventionality and defiance; the 'tale' thus a metaphor for the resistance she has to parlour politeness and society. Like her protagonists in her singular novel Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff and Cathy, the outside natural world is a place of free, untrammelled self expression and liberation. A place where 'now coward soul' can dwell or thrive. Even the 'giant trees' are weighted down by a burden of nature, yet such a weight is also a test of their character and courage. Nature does not kindly discriminate. Its indifference and power make everything else bow down to its force. awe is witnessed above the poet's head: 'clouds'; trees' ; 'winds' and the 'night.' Little wonder that the poem's 'pulse' seems hypnotic and like a gradually extracted confesssion of fascinated, yet 'taboo-ed' pleasure.Hence, I will not, cannot go.' An almost orgaistic acknowledgement of truth and its location, very much bound by Bronte's natural Romanticism!