Free Summaries

Wuthering Heghts – Portrayal of Love Essay

Bronte’s portrayal of love is this extract seems to be very strange, in the way she counteracts. She shows a side of love from a caring side, and a side of love from an aggressive side, by combining the two, we come up with the clear picture of Heathcliff and Cathy, Heathcliff being the aggressive type and Catherine the caring type. The reader knows this by the previous encounters of the characters.

Lexically, the choice of words Bronte uses to portray the love is very well done. She uses soft words to portray this sort of love, “…Bestowed kisses upon”, Bronte selected this to sound soft, the Sibilance in Bestowed and kisses emphasise the softness of the “kisses” and creates a tone of gentleness, and is very oxymoronic as Heathcliff is the one who bestows the kisses, he is not usually this sort of type to “bestow” as he brings terror to the whole novel, but towards Cathy, he is a true gentleman.

We also see a submissive side to Heatchliff, “Heathcliff had knelt on one knee to embrace her…”, the fact that Heathcliff “knelt” shows that he submitted to Catherine due to his love for her, and also it brings up the issue of social class, since Cathy was from a wealthy background and Heathcliff was an orphan, its clashes the social boundaries and shows how Catherine is “degraded” by Heatchliff.

On the first quarter of pg 116, Bronte, in a sense, counter argues what she had said previously as it balances out the weight of her storyline since she has introduced a caring side, and now she introduces the aggressive side of love. “Are you possessed with a devil, her pursued savagely”, this shows a harsher side towards the love, this definitely reflects the character of Heathcliff. “Savagely” carries negative connotations, almost sounds inhumane and animalistic which again reflects Heathcliff’s character. The counter act also creates confusion as the reader is puzzled as to why Bronte does this, it is due to the gothic themes she tried to create where as gothic themes usually carry mystery and this is what Bronte tried to accomplish.

Syntactically, we see a lot of sentence structure that is put together very strangely. “Oh, Cathy! Oh my life!…”, the repetition of the “oh” emphasises Heathcliff’s pain as here suffers from losing Cathy, the exclamatory also emphasises the pain further as it really forces the tension between Heathcliff and Cathy towards the reader. Again the novel continues to more repetition,

“Why did you despise me? Why Did you betray your own heart, Cathy?. I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself.

This repletion in “Why” and “You” questions the reader and creates an internal argument within the reader, the reader begins to answer the questions posed in the novel without being aware. This also emphasises the questioning posed by Heatchliff, it shows that Heatchliff is very demanding as the two questions were asked.

Graphologically, we see that some words are placed in italics; this is deliberately done by Bronte to create a certain sort of emphasis on those words, mainly to demand something or to get the reader to recognise them and be influenced by the impact of them. The first we see is “That is not my Heathcliff…”, the possessive determiner “my” emphasises the fact that Heatchliff has changed, Cathy refers to the younger Heathcliff as that was her Heathcliff which she happily interacted with. It alerts the reader to also refer back to the novel and to see how Heathcliff’s character has changed as the plot continues.

It is also used relating to the line mentioned above with the syntax. “You, of your own will, did it, I have not broken your heart – you have broken it…”, again the repletion of the “you” emphasises how Heatchliff blames Cathy for the pain they have suffered, the blames solely relies on Cathy and the anger from Heatchliff is also displayed as it is forced on Cathy and she has no choice but to accept the blame.

Back To Top