Wuthering Heights

.. ost of their time in because of its warmth and comfort. Catherine tries to pass time in her room, in order to avoid him, but it is too cold. When she realizes that she will be forced to spend her time in the kitchen with Hareton she decides that it might as well be pleasant. She gives him her favorite book and offers to teach him how to read it.

Hareton accepts her offer, and the two eventually become good friends. Heathcliff meanwhile, is still mourning the loss of his original love, Catherine. He bribes the local gravedigger to move Edgar’s body and bury his own next to hers when he dies. He persuades his faithful servant Joseph to make sure that these arrangements are fulfilled. Heathcliff also professes his belief that the dead are never settled and that their souls wander the earth.

He claims to have been visited by Catherine’s ghost many times. He says that he sees her image in everything, from travelers on the road to the surrounding landscape. Heathcliff is eager to join her and goes on a hunger strike. Heathcliff becomes happier the sicker and weaker he gets. He dies and his wish is granted, he is buried between Catherine and Edgar.

Heathcliff’s property is passed on to its rightful owner, Hareton. He and Catherine are married and live happily together until they die. Most of the story, up to Linton’s death, is a narrative told by Catherine’s nurse, Ellen Dean. It is told to a traveler named Mr. Lockwood. Lockwood has moved from a big city to the rural moorlands and is renting Thrushcross Grange from Heathcliff.

The very beginning and end of the story are told by Lockwood. He was disappointed with the rude way he was treated by Heathcliff upon his arrival at Wuthering Heights and was tempted to leave a few days later but became ill, and was forced to stay in bed at Thrushcross Grange. He persuaded Ellen to tell him the history of his landlord and his mysterious family while he was recovering. She then tells him the story of love and hatred between the Earnshaws and Lintons. Lockwood observes firsthand everything that happens after Linton’s death.

A very small portion of the novel is also told by a letter from Isabella to Ellen, describing the tense relationship between Hindley and Heathcliff. Love sets the stage for conflict in the novel. Catherine’s love for Edgar concerns with superficial things. It is a love for a young, handsome, wealthy personality. It is a love formed in a society where income and status also have a place in the quality of life.2 His social and financial position make it easy for her to fall in love with him. Her love for Heathcliff was not based on material things, at the time she felt love for him he had nothing to give to her. It looks as much like hate as love.

They are violent to each other. She even pulls out some of Heathcliff’s hair. Ellen remarks that they seem to be more like animals than humans. It is a relationship that is concerned with a breaking through beyond the self.3 I feel that their love was about discovering themselves and each other. Heathcliff becomes angry when she chooses Edgar’s love over his own and runs away, trying to make himself a person that can offer the same qualities as Edgar. The two men quarrel upon his return, adding to the hatred that they feel for each other.

The men try to pass this hatred down to their children, Catherine and Linton. The two young cousins do not understand why they were expected to feel this hatred. They were instead very much interested in each other. As the children grew up they fell in love. Heathcliff and Edgar would not accept this.

They both forbade their children form seeing each other. This is where the conflict between parents and children develop. Linton, the weak child, can do nothing to protest Heathcliff’s refusal to let him see Catherine because he lives in fear of his father. He does not agree with him but lacks courage and strength to let Heathcliff know how he truly feels. Catherine is much more passionate. She tries to appeal to her father and begs him to let her visit Linton.

When he refuses she sneaks out of the house to visit her cousin and she also sends him letters, which are secretly delivered by the dairy boy. When Edgar realizes that he is being deceived he completely cuts off all contact between the cousins. The two men forbid their children from seeing each other because of a hatred that developed between them over a woman that they both loved. The woman died giving birth to Catherine and before Linton was even born so the two young lovers never even met the person who their fathers were quarreling over. I do not feel that this conflict would arise in the same fashion today.

I feel that parents today would not keep their children from being friends because of a conflict that happened between them before their children were born. Parents should discuss in detail how they feel about other people’s children with their own kids. These parents should not be able to simply prohibit their children from associating with other people. Children today have so much more power to reason with their parents than they did in the 18th and 19th centuries. Now we are expected to voice our opinions and concerns about a particular subject.

In those times children were expected to accept whatever their parents told them, no questions asked. Today even if parents tried to keep their children away from someone there are so many things kids can do to bypass their parents’ wishes. We have so many methods of communication today that the children of Wuthering Heights never had the luxury of using. Catherine could not call Wuthering Heights from Thrushcross Grange on the telephone and speak to Linton. She could not send him a private e-mail over the Internet.

We take the privacy of these forms of communicating for granted. Children interact at school and extracurricular activities everyday. I feel that children would be able to settle a conflict like this today very easily. It does not take much effort to communicate anymore, even over long distances. Children would take the matter into their own hands, like Catherine did, and if they think and act carefully there is not much parents can do to stop them.

The conflicts that arose between parents and children in Wuthering Heights would not arise today, mainly because of how different and accepting society is today than it was during 18th and 19th century England. Bibliography Allott, Miriam, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, London, Macmillan, 1970. Bloom, Harold (ed.), Modern Critical Views: The Brontes, New York, Chelsea House, 1987. Bronte, Emily, Wuthering Heights, New York, the Penguin Group, 1995. Gregor, Ian (ed.), The Brontes, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Prentice Hall, 1970. Kanigel, Robert, Vintage Reading, Baltimore, Bancroft Press, 1998.

English Essays.