Do you feel that ÃÂWuthering HeightsÃÂ celebrates the perfect love between Catherine and Heathcliff or do you see their love as deeply flawed? With particular emphasis on chapters 6, 9 and 11, discuss how BrontÃÂ« uses language and structure to present their relationship and what we learn about the characters.
ÃÂWuthering HeightsÃÂ was the only novel Emily BrontÃÂ« had written. It was written in 1846 but published in 1847, under the pseudonym Ellis Bell, because people didnÃÂt acknowledge that a woman could have written a novel like ÃÂWuthering HeightsÃÂ. Lord Byron and Mary Shelley influenced Emily BrontÃÂ« in writing Wuthering Heights, as the novel exposes themes from both writers. Both Lord Byron and Mary Shelley used gothic and romantic language and themes, which were shown throughout ÃÂWuthering HeightsÃÂ as well.
In this essay I will be exploring the love between Heathcliff and Catherine, and how HeathcliffÃÂs love for Catherine differs from CatherineÃÂs love for Heathcliff.
Also, how BrontÃÂ« uses language and structure to present their relationship and what we learn about the characters.
BrontÃÂ« presents Heathcliff as caring about Catherine. ÃÂÃÂWhen would you catch me wishing to have what Catherine wanted?ÃÂÃÂ Heathcliff wants to keep Catherine cheerful and content.
BrontÃÂ« describes Heathcliff in such a way that the reader has both pity and hatred for him. ÃÂÃÂMiss Earnshaw scouring the country with a gipsy!ÃÂÃÂHeathcliff was bullied and degraded as a child because of his appearance and for him being an orphan, which could cause the reader to have sympathy for him. Heathcliff uses Isabella, by having a relationship with her and intending to marry her, confident that Thrushcross Grange will become his. ÃÂÃÂSheÃÂs her brotherÃÂs heir, is she not?ÃÂÃÂ Heathcliff enquired Catherine to assure him that Thrushcross Grange can become his, which could cause the reader to dislike him.
The language which BrontÃÂ« uses, enables us to learn that Heathcliff has a soft side to him as well as a hard side, which BrontÃÂ« has presented throughout the first few chapters of ÃÂWuthering HeightsÃÂ. ÃÂÃÂI got a stone and thrust it between his jaws, and tried with all my might to cram it down his throat.ÃÂÃÂ Heathcliff risks his own health to try and save Catherine from the dog and will not leave her side, until Mr Linton forces him away, which shows he cares deeply about her.
BrontÃÂ« depicted Heathcliff, as a child, as a boy who barely spoke and never cried when Hindley harmed him, so we are surprised at the language Heathcliff uses and the depth he goes into about his feelings for Catherine.
The way BrontÃÂ« displays their relationship gives the reader the speculation that they have a committed emotional relationship rather than a physical. ÃÂÃÂHe is more myself than I am.ÃÂÃÂ Catherine conveys how she truly feels about Heathcliff to Nelly. She feels as though her and Heathcliff are the same person. The effect, their relationship so far, creates is that they are genuinely close and it is possibly ÃÂreal loveÃÂ between them but not a ÃÂperfect loveÃÂ.
BrontÃÂ« gives no evidence that this is a ÃÂperfect loveÃÂ. This could be a perfect love but we would never know, because Catherine starts to put Edgar before Heathcliff. ÃÂÃÂThe crosses are for the evenings you have spent with the LintonÃÂs, the dots for those you have spent with me-ÃÂÃÂ Heathcliff begins to realise that Catherine spends more time with Edgar than she does him and that her and EdgarÃÂs relationship starts to surpass his own relationship with Catherine.
BrontÃÂ« arranges it so that when Heathcliff comes home without Catherine, it makes Nelly question him about CathyÃÂs whereabouts. ÃÂÃÂWhere is Miss Catherine?ÃÂÃÂ It is a good narrative device because Nelly gets the full story, of Wuthering Heights, from everyoneÃÂs point of view and the reader gets to discover how this occurs.
BrontÃÂ« presents Catherine as passionate about Heathcliff. When Heathcliff ran away Catherine was extremely troubled by his absence. ÃÂMeanwhile, Catherine paced up and down the floor, exclaiming: ÃÂI wonder where he is?ÃÂ ÃÂ Catherine starts to think that the reason why Heathcliff ran away is because he overheard her saying it would degrade her to marry him.
Catherine is not a very likeable character in this chapter, because BrontÃÂ« gives us the impression that Catherine is selfish since she only wanted to marry Edgar to help Heathcliff to rise, so Heathcliff was someone reasonable enough for her to marry. ÃÂÃÂWhereas, if I marry Linton I can aid Heathcliff to rise.ÃÂÃÂ Catherine clarifies to Nelly that if she married Heathcliff they should be beggars but if she married Linton she would be rich and would help Heathcliff to get rich. ÃÂÃÂI want to cheat my uncomfortable conscience, and be convinced that Heathcliff has no notion of these things.ÃÂÃÂ Nelly tells Catherine that she thinks Heathcliff heard some of what Catherine said.
BrontÃÂ« doesnÃÂt enable us to empathise with Catherine because she is exposed as self-centred and status conscious. ÃÂÃÂIt would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now.ÃÂÃÂ She thinks it would demean her to marry Heathcliff so she marries Edgar instead which would give her a higher status.
We learn that Catherine and HeathcliffÃÂs relationship currently is falling to pieces, as Catherine wants to marry Edgar not Heathcliff. Catherine doesnÃÂt tell Heathcliff that she is only marrying Edgar to help him. Therefore giving Heathcliff the idea that Catherine doesnÃÂt love him anymore and would prefer Edgar over him. ÃÂHe had listened till he heard Catherine say it would degrade her to marry him, and then stayed to hear no further.ÃÂ Heathcliff overheard Catherine talking to Nelly about him.
BrontÃÂ« describes Heathcliff and CatherineÃÂs relationship as not ideal, because although Catherine has deep internal feelings for Heathcliff she also reveals her feelings for Edgar, which interferes with her and HeathcliffÃÂs relationship. ÃÂÃÂI love all his looks, and all his actions, and him entirely.ÃÂÃÂ Nelly questions Catherine about her feelings for Edgar. At this point Catherine and Heathcliff start to pull away from each other.
CatherineÃÂs feelings donÃÂt differ from HeathcliffÃÂs because they both seem to love each other to the same extent; they would do anything for each other. ÃÂÃÂIÃÂve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldnÃÂt have thought of it.ÃÂÃÂ Catherine sacrifices herself by marrying Edgar, when we suppose she didnÃÂt want to, to help Heathcliff rise so she could marry him.
BrontÃÂ« organizes it so that Catherine accepts Edgar, when he asked her to marry him, but now she is uncertain that she has made the right choice, because she has feelings for Heathcliff as well. ÃÂÃÂI accepted him, Nelly; be quick, and say whether I was wrong!ÃÂÃÂ Catherine confides in Nelly, for her opinion, on marrying Edgar instead of Heathcliff.
BrontÃÂ« presents Heathcliff as sadistic to those beneath him. ÃÂÃÂYou are welcome to torture me to death for your amusement, only, allow me to amuse myself a little in the same style-ÃÂÃÂ Heathcliff reveals to Cathy how she has ill-treated him and how he plans his vengeance. He says to Catherine you can make me suffer for your enjoyment but let me do the same to Isabella and those below me for my enjoyment.
BrontÃÂ« presents Catherine as loyal to Heathcliff. When Catherine and Edgar are arguing, she defends Heathcliff. ÃÂÃÂHeathcliff! But, go ÃÂ make haste! IÃÂd rather see Edgar at bay than you.ÃÂÃÂ She tells Heathcliff to go before he gets harmed by EdgarÃÂs men. We are not surprised by Catherine and HeathcliffÃÂs actions because we already know they love each other genuinely so it was obvious that they both was going to turn against Edgar.
The language which BrontÃÂ« uses suggests to us that they got to say what they really think about each other. ÃÂÃÂI want you to be aware that I know you have treated me infernally---infernally!ÃÂÃÂ Heathcliff tells Catherine that he knows she has mistreated him. The effect this creates is that we know they think very highly of each other but they are not blinded by love and can see the bad in each other as well.
Throughout the study of the three chapters in ÃÂWuthering HeightsÃÂ I have revealed that Catherine and HeathcliffÃÂs love is neither a perfect love nor a deeply flawed love. Catherine and Heathcliff are very much the same person, because they are so close, which causes them to collide with one another and have arguments most of the time; nevertheless they are so much alike that they are perfect for each other. In the Victorian times this relationship would be seen as traditional, because in those times the only way you could get recognition, especially for a woman, was to have high status or be wealthy; which was why Catherine married Edgar. In modern day times, most people wonÃÂt marry someone for status particularly if they genuinely loved someone else. So in this day, Catherine wouldÃÂve most probably married Heathcliff.
Bibliography: Penguin Classics 'Wuthering Heights'.