All terms

What is Hauteur?

Overbearing attitude or arrogance.

Rising Above Hauteur: A Guide to Humility in Writing

Hauteur, a term that crept into English from the French language, refers to an overbearing attitude or arrogance. While confidence is an important trait for writers, it's critical to avoid letting it slip into haughtiness. A writer who possesses hauteur may alienate readers with their superior tone, distancing themselves from the audience they're meant to connect with.

Thankfully, humility can be cultivated in writing. A humble writer recognizes when they need feedback or assistance and is open to constructive criticism in order to improve their craft. They know that every story or poem can be made better by collaboration and being receptive to new ideas.

Humility also allows a writer to connect with readers on a deeper level. A humble writer recognizes their shared humanity with their audience and can use that understanding to craft empathy and connection.

In short, while confidence is important in writing, it's best tempered by humility. Cultivating a humble, receptive attitude will make you a better writer and help your work resonate with readers on a deeper level.

From Antagonists to Protagonists: Examples of Hauteur in Literature

Hauteur has made its way into all kinds of literature, taking on different forms and revealing different motivations. Here are two examples worth exploring:

Dorian Gray in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Dorian Gray may be the protagonist of the story, but his hauteur is on full display throughout. He becomes disillusioned with the good life and his own beauty, and descends into a life of decadence and excess fueled by pride.

Catherine Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Catherine's hauteur is a central conflict in this classic novel. Her sense of superiority leads her to reject her true love, Heathcliff, inadvertently causing immense pain and turmoil for all involved in her life.