A popular hit song, “Love Story” by Taylor Swift points out that the words all girls long to hear from their loved ones are: “You’ll never have to be alone. I love you and that’s all I really know. I talked to your dad. Go pick out a white dress. It’s a love story. Baby, just say ‘yes’.” The singer compares herself, however, to Juliet and the Scarlet Letter (the letter, strangely—not its wearer). These two “love stories” did not have the happiest of endings. Hester Prynne lived for many years ostracized and condemned for her sin and Juliet killed herself. Yet the song implies that the singer will have a happy ending, perhaps because unlike Juliet, she gets her man. Or, as Nettle would suggest, she might just be less neurotic than most and therefore, a happier person in general, making her more attractive to the opposite sex and so more likely to marry. Nettle says that married people are “less neurotic, and this is likely to be a cause, rather than a consequence of their marital status” (106). Does this mean that the darling madwoman of Wuthering Heights was simply too neurotic if she missed some of the finer points of marital bliss? The argument can be made against Catherine Earnshaw Linton’s neuroses by pointing to Nelly’s description of her as a child: “Her spirits were always at high-water mark, her tongue always going—singing, laughing, and plaguing everybody who would not do the same” (Brontë 42). Neurotics, according to Nettle, score high on the scale of negative emotions, frequently answering questions such as “Are you miserable?” in the affirmative (101). Nettle is careful to point out that this does not mean that they cannot be extremely happy in between negative emotions, but Nelly says that Catherine’s spirits were always at high-water mark, indicating a generally happy childhood. From this limited insight, one must assume that Catherine has at least one copy of the long form of the 5HTT gene which Nettle says is necessary for lower neuroticism scores (139). Assuming she is not neurotic, one must look to another culprit for the misery which led her to what can only be described as her maniacal suicide, especially because the forces which Brontë indicts are still at large in the world today. The trouble comes when she is separated from Heathcliff, her adoptive brother and, as Gilbert and Gubar suggest, part of her own ego. In their essay, “Looking Oppositely: Emily Brontë’s Bible of Hell,” Gilbert and Gubar point to Catherine’s inscription of her name on the windowsill with many variations as evidence of the psychic fragmentation which seems to take place when Catherine and Heathcliff are separated and when she receives her “female education”: “What Catherine, or any girl, must learn is that she does not know her own name, and therefore cannot know either who she is or whom she is destined to be” (276). This argument becomes problematic when later in the essay they refer to the many names by which Edgar is called—Mr. Linton, Mr. Edgar, my master—as “all phrases conveying the power and status he has independent of his physical strength” (281). Of course, “my master” is a title given to a person in a position of power, but even if his titles/names are more prestigious, he still has many, suggesting fragmentation just like Catherine’s. Furthermore, Gilbert and Gubar go on to note that his mastery is “contained in books, wills, testaments, leases, titles, etc.” and that all these are the “paraphernalia by which patriarchal culture is transmitted from one generation to the next” (281). The very word contain, however, suggests that something is trapped inside. All of these things by which culture is transmitted can also be the very things that trap patriarchs in training. While it does make sense to explore Heathcliff’s existence as a fragmentation of Catherine’s psyche, it may be a disservice to try to subsume Edgar as well, as Brontë may have another mission for him as a real, independent character. The great
Student ID: 1051867
“Identify and discuss various representations of woman in Wuthering Heights”
The depictions of women in Wuthering Heights reveal that despair and happiness are direct outcomes of one’s decision to either be submissive to or oppose patriarchal constructs respectively. Catherine and Cathy II are portrayed as examples of both how giving power to patriarchal demands leads to misery and pain in contrast to how resisting patriarchal…
conflicting) temperaments, two antithetic attitudes towards life, love, nature, the universe.
The plot of the novel unfolds in three locales: Wuthering Heights, Thrushcross Grange and the moorland that on the one hand connects the two houses and on the other, separates them from the rest of the world.
The inhabitants of Wuthering Heights: Heathcliff, Catherine and Hindley Earnshaw are of a savage temperament: passionate in their love and hatred, freedom loving, unable to compromise or to control…
Wuthering Heights is a novel told in a series of narratives, which are themselves told to the narrator, a gentleman named Lockwood. Lockwood rents a fine house called Thrushcross Grange in Yorkshire and slowly learns more about the histories of the two local families. This is what he learns from the housekeeper, Ellen Dean, who had been with one of the two families for all her life.
The story takes place around 1760, when a gentleman farmer named Earnshaw…
Wuthering Heights is an English classic novel that is characterized by the underlying theme of love. It is love that everyone- excluding Mr. Lockwell, who represents the role of the reader in the story- expresses in their actions and motivations. This desire to love and to be loved runs through every major character's heads. In chapter 9, Catherine accepts Edgar's proposal. When she tells Nelly this, she states on page 81, "Have you considered how you'll bear the separation, and how he'll bear to…
Can Love Conquer All?
It is often said that ‘love conquers all’1 however Bronte in ‘Wuthering Heights’ demonstrates that this is not the case. The inability of the protagonists to understand and deal with the constraints that society places on their love, brings about their own demise. The imprisoning, oppressive and at times intoxicating love that exists between Heathcliff and Catherine leads to their downfall. And In the jealousy that Heathcliff feels towards Edgar and Catherine’s relationship…
Gothic Novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë has many interesting characters and individual situations. There are many aspects of Wuthering Heights that bring a lot of attention to the novel, for example the extreme nature of Heathcliff and the anger and hate that surrounds him, to the humble messenger of his story Mrs.Ellen Dean. Brontë uses different devices to display the multiple themes throughout the novel that are specific with the characters. In the novel Wuthering heights the main character…
Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights employs a somewhat unorthodox narrative structure, with Mr Lockwood acting as the external framework to Nelly Dean’s tale. The reader initially identifies himself with the character of Lockwood, who is introduced to Wuthering Heights at the same time as himself. He later serves as a validation of Nelly’s central tale, as he has witnessed the current circumstances that are the consequence of it. However, while both narrators lend their particular perspective to the…
Born in rural England almost two hundred years ago, Emily Bronte remains one of the most well-known and beloved British authors to this day. She penned one of the most cherished and controversial novels in British literature; Wuthering Heights. This rare feat proves to be quite remarkable indeed, considering Miss Bronte only wrote one novel in her lifetime. However, that novel was not even published by herself, but by her sister, after her death. Emily Bronte composed two hundred and fourteen poems…
The typical high school sweethearts falling in love and dating until they get married is often the movie version of love. The infatuation Edward and Bella have for each other in the Twilight Saga is not the only form of love. Everyone in the world has felt some version of love whether it be admiration, platonic, motherly, or others. There are types that are not beneficial to both sides of the relationship, such as obsessive or relationally addictive ‘love’. It is understandable to omit these because…
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