Representations of Lovesickness in Victorian Literature / Viktorya Dönemi Edebiyatında Karasevda Betimlemeleri

Hatice Övgü Tüzün


Given the central place it occupies in human life and relations, it is hardly surprising that romantic love as well as the distress caused by unrequited love is a universal phenomenon that has been explored by numerous writers over the years. Passionate love can be defined as a state of intense desire for fusion with another. When love is reciprocated and union is achieved, the lover feels a sense of fulfilment and joyful ecstasy.  If the lover is rejected or scorned, however, s/he is overwhelmed with an acute sensation of emptiness, often accompanied with feelings of anxiety and despair. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on representations of lovesickness in two novels from the Victorian period: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. Drawing on the sociologist Eva Illouz’ Why Love Hurts? and the psychologist Dorothy Tennov’s conceptualization of love and limerence, I will examine how the emotional trauma experienced by Catherine and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and Rosanna Spearman in The Moonstone causes all three characters to feel intense suffering and prolonged misery, leading - eventually - to their destruction.

Anahtar Kelimeler

Lovesickness; Victorian literature; Wuthering Heights; The Moonstone.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.