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This communion, however, is doomed to failure while they live because of social constraints. This characterization contributes to the impossibility of any happy union of Catherine and Heathcliff while they live.
Heathcliff looms larger than life, subject to violent extremes of emotion, amenable to neither education nor nurturing. Choosing to marry Edgar Linton is to choose psychic fragmentation and separation from her other self, but she sees no way to reconcile her psychological need for wholeness with the physical support and emotional stability that she requires.
Unable to earn a living, dependent on a brother who is squandering the family fortune, she is impelled to accept the social privileges and luxuries that Edgar offers.
Yet conventional forms of romance provide no clear guide to successful marriage either; both Edgar and his sister, Isabella, suffer by acting on stereotypical notions of love. Edgar does not know Catherine in any true sense, and his attempts to control her force her subversive self-destruction.
Isabella, fascinated by the Byronic qualities with which Heathcliff is so richly endowed, believes that she really loves him and becomes a willing victim in his scheme of revenge.
What remains is a paradoxical statement about the nature and value of love and a question about whether any love can transcend social and natural barriers. The novel contains minimal examples of nurturing, and most instruction to children is of the negative kind that Joseph provides with his lectures threatening damnation.
Children demonstrably suffer from a lack of love from their parents, whose attention alternates between total neglect and physical threats.
The novel is full of violence, exemplified by the dreams that Lockwood has when he stays in Wuthering Heights. Terrified, he rubs her wrist back and forth on a broken windowpane until he is covered in blood. These dreams anticipate further violence: Heathcliff never recovers from the neglect and abuse that he has experienced as a child; all that motivates him in adulthood is revenge and a philosophy that the weak deserve to be crushed.
A third significant theme of Wuthering Heights is the power of the natural setting. Catherine and Heathcliff are most at one with each other when they are outdoors. Her fondest memories are of the times on the moors; the enclosed environment of Thrushcross Grange seems a petty prison.
In contrast to Catherine and Heathcliff, other characters prefer the indoors and crave the protection that the houses afford. Lockwood is dependent on the comforts of home and hearth, and the Lintons are portrayed as weaklings because of their upbringing in a sheltered setting.Test your knowledge of Wuthering Heights with our quizzes and study questions, or go further with essays on the context and background and links to the best resources around the web.
Wuthering Heights study guide contains a biography of Emily Bronte, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About Wuthering Heights.
Analysis. Wuthering Heights opens with a date that signifies the setting as well as the form of the narrative. The present is ; however, the primary story line has taken place years ago. Most of the action in the novel occurs in Wuthering Heights, Thrushcross Grange, or . Chapter 1: When the novel opens, it is the year Mr.
Lockwood, the narrator, explains that he has recently begun renting Thrushcross Grange, a grand house in northern England. Lockwood recounts his day, beginning with his visit to his new landlord, Mr. Heathcliff, who lives nearby at Wuthering Heights.
Wuthering Heights essays are academic essays for citation.
These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Of the major themes in Wuthering Heights, the nature of love — both romantic and brotherly but, oddly enough, not erotic — applies to the principal characters as well as the minor ones.
Every relationship in the text is strained at one point or another.