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Love And Society Wuthering Heights English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1064 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The center of this “love triangle” is Catherine Earnshaw, or Catherine Linton. When Catherine was still Catherine Earnshaw, she was a good little girl. She grew up at Wuthering Heights with her brother Hindley. When Heathcliff came into the picture Catherine wasn’t too happy, but as time past they grew on each other. Later on, Hindley came to inherit Wuthering Heights and threw Heathcliff out because they did not get along. This did not stop Heathcliff and Catherine from seeing each other. Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationship was reciprocal love, a love not merely sexual or romantic, but metaphysical (Beversluis Par.2). Everything changed though when Catherine became a “proper” lady. Catherine’s attitude, feelings, and appearance changed. No one else seemed to mind except Heathcliff, who hated the new Catherine. Catherine was trying to avoid touching Heathcliff because he was filthy looking. This obviously humiliates Heathcliff, and he storms off and leaves. At this point Catherine doesn’t think she did anything wrong and doesn’t understand why Heathcliff would leave. This event proves that Catherine cares more about how she is perceived in society than Heathcliff’s feelings. Throughout the novel, Catherine tries to convince the readers that she really does love Heathcliff. After Catherine tells Nelly that ” he’s more myself than I am”, some may still believe that she loves and cares for Heathcliff (Bronte Pg 73). But when Catherine tells Nelly that marrying Heathcliff would degrade her, which was said earlier, it is very difficult to believe that she loves Heathcliff. Catherine is talking to Nelly because she needs help deciding who she should marry, between Heathcliff and Edgar Linton. But Catherine already knows who she will marry, Edgar Linton. He will give Catherine the social position of which she has been searching for, possibly for quite a while. This shows what is more important to Catherine, obviously it is social position, not love. After a while, Catherine spends less and less time with Heathcliff and more with the Linton’s. Heathcliff even shows her how often she has been with him, and it wasn’t much. Catherine then insults Heathcliff and tells him he might as well “be dumb or a baby” (Beversluis Par.12). At this point, Heathcliff knows Catherine had changed completely and was nothing like she used to be. Catherine didn’t change for the better, but for the worse. This change of Catherine’s was also shown when Edgar insults Heathcliff by calling him “a vulgar, young ruffion”, and says Heathcliff is “worse than a brute” (Beversluis Par.12). Catherine did not stick up for Heathcliff at any point, or even try to stop Edgar from insulting Heathcliff, she just stood by and watched. If Catherine really loved Heathcliff like she said she did, she would have said at least something. But instead, she stood their not giving a care in the world, and that is what society did to Catherine. After all the years of seeking for the high up position in society, she finally got what she wanted.

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The ending piece of this “love triangle” is Edgar Linton. Edgar came into the novel later on but when you did meet Edgar, you could tell what kind of person he was. You could tell that Edgar was a very weak minded individual. This was most likely caused by Edgar growing up in a rich family, and getting anything he asked for. Then when Catherine came into the picture, he didn’t have to work very hard to get her to like him. Catherine was practically wrapped around Edgar’s finger because she didn’t want to lose the new reputation that she inhabited. There were moments when Catherine disgusted Edgar by her actions. For example, when Nelly wouldn’t leave Edgar and Catherine alone, Catherine started to hit and slap Nelly. Edgar was appalled by the way Catherine acted so he left, but not without taking one last look at Catherine. When Edgar did this, he saw Catherine’s beauty and had to go back to her. This also proves how weak minded Edgar is, he couldn’t even stand up for himself. Little did Edgar know, Catherine was just using him for social elevation. Edgar also didn’t know that Catherine had to choose between him and Heathcliff. Edgar and Heathcliff were the complete opposite, and that is probably why Edgar thought Heathcliff wouldn’t have a chance with Catherine. But when Catherine still goes and sees Heathcliff, Edgar does absolutely nothing. At this point, Catherine wants both Edgar and Heathcliff to be friends. This doesn’t go as planned. Edgar can barely tolerate Heathcliff, and then Catherine tells Edgar “for my sake, you must be friends now”, and tried to get both men to shake hands (Stoneman Par.15). Edgar was not pleased with the situation he was put into. If Edgar really loved Catherine, he would do what she asked of him. Instead, Edgar cares more about his reputation and societal standing. Then once Heathcliff leaves for three years, Edgar is happy again and can keep living life with Catherine. After three years pass, Edgars world is turned upside down all over again. Edgar gets almost jealous when Heathcliff returns and shows up at Thrushcross Grange to see Catherine. But instead, he lets his pride take over and doesn’t want to be associated with “the plough-boy” (Bronte Pg 86). This obviously hurts Catherine’s and later Edgar asks her to choose between him and Heathcliff. Catherine obviously chose Edgar because she would never want to lose her place in society, even though she knew she loved Heathcliff. Edgar knew Catherine would choose him, making Edgar believe that he could get whatever he wanted, whether it was having to do with love or society.

Throughout the novel “Wuthering Heights”, it is easy to see that society can be stronger than the love for someone. This is only an opinion though, others may believe that love can conquer all, which is fine as well. You may live life believing in what you want. Others didn’t have such a choice though, just look at Heathcliff. But will you let society take control of you?



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