The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

by

Anne Brontë

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The Weather Symbol Analysis

The Weather Symbol Icon

As a farmer, Gilbert is deeply tied to the land. His living depends on it. And, as a painter, Helen is always taking care to keenly observes nature’s rhythm. It makes sense, then, that Brontë would make liberal use of the weather to hint at Helen and Gilbert’s moods, as well as their immediate prospects for happiness and contentment. During the fateful visit to the seaside, the beauty of the May day practically blesses their love with its glory. In contrast, the days following the pivotal moment when Gilbert sees Helen and Frederick walking in the garden and mistakes their filial affection for romantic love are gloomy and wet, as the drizzle and fog match Gilbert’s stormy state of mind. And when Gilbert rides into the country to stop Helen from marrying Walter Hargrave, the day is snowy and cold, an outward manifestation of his dread. Sometimes, though, the weather contrasts with a character’s mood and mocks the character’s reverence for it. For example, alone at Grassdale and desperately missing her husband, Helen experiences the beauties of spring in her new home as an assault upon her sensibilities. Deeply connected to the natural world, both Gilbert and Helen experience the weather as an extension of themselves, a reflection of who they are in different moments in time.

The Weather Quotes in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The The Tenant of Wildfell Hall quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Weather. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gender, Sexism, and Double Standards Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Wordsworth Classics edition of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall published in 2001.
Chapter 30 Quotes

But it is now January: spring is approaching; and, I repeat, I dread the consequences of its arrival. That sweet season, I once so joyously welcomed as the time of hope and gladness, awakens, now, far other anticipations by its return.

Related Characters: Helen Graham (speaker), Arthur Huntingdon
Related Symbols: The Weather
Page Number: 208
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Weather Symbol Timeline in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Weather appears in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1. A Discovery
Work and Idleness Theme Icon
...benefiting not only himself and his future children but humanity at large. The day is gloomy and cold but, once in his parlour, he manages a roaring fire and that cheers... (full context)
Chapter 6. Progression
Gender, Sexism, and Double Standards Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Work and Idleness Theme Icon
...Before leaving her, Gilbert says he worries about Helen being lonely, living in such a gloomy place. She tells him she often experiences loneliness, but that she is grateful for a... (full context)
Chapter 7. The Excursion
Work and Idleness Theme Icon
On a beautiful spring day , while Gilbert is out inspecting his lambs, he runs into Fergus, Rose, and Eliza,... (full context)
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...enough to justify an excursion to the coast. Flowers are in bloom, and everything is verdant and lovely . The party consists of Gilbert, Fergus, and Rose Markham; Mary and Eliza Millward; Richard... (full context)
Chapter 8. The Present
Work and Idleness Theme Icon
On yet another fine day in early summer, Gilbert is hard at work in his fields, working among servants and... (full context)
Chapter 9. A Snake in the Grass
Work and Idleness Theme Icon
...feels like an endless evening of insipid small talk. The two of them admire the beauty of the evening and discuss for a time the pitfalls of being a painter. Helen wishes she could... (full context)
Chapter 12. A Tete-a-Tete and a Discovery
Gender, Sexism, and Double Standards Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...tossing and turning in agonies of despair, and the next morning walks out into the rain, thinking that if his family sees him soaked through it will at least excuse his... (full context)
Chapter 14. An Assault
Gender, Sexism, and Double Standards Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Still wanting to forget his disappointment in work, Gilbert sets out for town on a gloomy morning after breakfast. On the road, he meets up with Mr. Lawrence, who begins chatting... (full context)
Chapter 15. An Encounter and Its Consequences
Gender, Sexism, and Double Standards Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Work and Idleness Theme Icon
One beautiful day Gilbert is out in his cornfields, ready to begin reaping, when little Arthur approaches him... (full context)
Chapter 18. The Miniature
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Work and Idleness Theme Icon
...new painting. The piece is, in her mind, her most presumptuous. It is of a sunny morning and a pair of turtledoves, who, so absorbed in each other, do not see the... (full context)
Chapter 20. Persistence
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
Helen wakes the next morning completely happy and goes for a solitary walk. The weather mimics her mood. It is fine and dewy, and a robin is singing in the... (full context)
Chapter 25. First Absence
Work and Idleness Theme Icon
...her. In fact, their beauty cuts her. The prettier the landscape, the more glorious the weather, the sadder she becomes, because she is alone and cannot share such beauty with the... (full context)
Chapter 44. The Retreat
Work and Idleness Theme Icon
...they won’t attract too much attention. It’s dark when they leave Grassdale, but eventually the weather grows beautiful, a perfect late October day. It’s a long journey, though, and when night... (full context)
Chapter 45. Reconciliation
Gender, Sexism, and Double Standards Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
...is a beautiful one, brisk and golden. He leans out his window to savor the weather and the knowledge that Helen is the pure and perfect creature he’d thought her to... (full context)
Chapter 49. Untitled
Christian Faith and Morality Theme Icon
Love and Marriage Theme Icon
The chapter begins with a quotation from the Biblical book of Matthew, about rain falling on a house and winds beating it until it comes crashing down with a... (full context)