The central theme of Wuthering heights revolves around two main characters Heathcliff and Catherine. Catherine’s wild antics and powerful persuasion connects massively with Heathcliff who was brought into Cathy’s world. Heathcliff’s personality has been moulded largely in the brutal way he was brought up in the rough streets of Liverpool. Their love brings destination. Wuthering heights mirrors the social historical influences in the Georgian era as the forbidden relationship of Cathy and Heathcliff is parallel to real life and an ideal world.
Ideally Catherine should have married Heathcliff as their marriage was based on unconditional love filled with passion but in the eyes of the community it is forbidden to fall in love with a lower class citizen. This was because of the old fashioned rights of the woman in the 1800’s. The woman then had no power or privileges. Even though there is no law in marrying someone who is lower status but the consequences were that your marriage would get frowned upon and this was as serious as the law in those days.
Cathy who values her reputation so much that she later marries Edgar Linton ho would be highly approved of the high society. When Mr Earnshaw goes to Liverpool and returns home with an orphan boy he announces that he will be part of the Earnshaw family. Heathcliff is described as an outcast to the rest of the family. At first the children, Hindley and his younger sister Cathy, detest the dark skinned Heathcliff. “Hindleys blows” signify that this brutal child, Hindleys expresses cold and unwanted feelings towards him indulging treacherous behaviour.
Catherine on the other hand detests him as much as her brother, she indicates this peevishness by “grinning and spitting” at Heathcliff. The children also show disagreement further on in the night by pursuing that “they will not have him in bed with them or even in their room”. When Mr Earnshaw, the person who brought Heathcliff into the house at the start is saddened by Heathcliff appearance, hungry on the busy streets of Liverpool. Mr Earnshaws actions show that he is willing to protect and is vigilant towards this child even though he has no relation to him.
Unlike his dear wife who differs in understanding. She is “ready to fling it out doors” at first sight, she later concludes that her husband is going mad along with questioning “how he could have had the fashion to bring that gypsy brat into her house”. Heathcliff causes a divide in the Earnshaw household. Hindley sees Heathcliff” as a usurper to his parents affection and privileges” and a threat to his future inheritance of the Earnshaw estate. Mr. Earnshaw’s affection soon falters and gradually grows to prefer Heathcliff to his own son.
Catherine has a great power over heathcliff as she is rebellious of authority and when she is getting told off she doesn’t realy care but rather likes the attention. When Mr Earnshaw dies, Heathcliff and Cathy grow silence and still. They are both calmer now and both seek comfort in each other”the little souls were comforting each other with better thoughts than I could ever imagine”. The two of them set into a grieving mode as they have just lost the person who loved them most in the world… their father. Nelly the house keeper is also distraught and dispirited by the sudden death.
I think that the weather symbolises something bad is going to happen as. “A high wind blustered round the house” and “,it sounded wild and stormy” these intensify the text and causes an ominous tension to arise when the reader is reading it. I think these give a clue to the reader that something bad will arise in cathy and heathcliffs lifes as the storm incorporate melancholy later on. I think that Bronte uses clever description to show the divide between the two households; Wuthering heights & thrush cross grange.
Bronte describes Wuthering heights as a uncivilised place with” wide spaces” in contrast to the opulence and luxury of thrush cross grange with its “crimson covered chairs and ceilings boarded with gold” which give it a heavenly feel. The contrast if these two distinctive settings represents the diversity in the two families. the Earnshaws family is dark and brutal with a hellish atmosphere whereas the Linton’s family seem more civilised and close” woman servant brought a basin of warm water, and washed her feet”.
The atmosphere in their home seems to be more warm and loving whereas at Wuthering heights you get a sense of coldness and separateness in the family members. Catherine treats heathcliff badly as she has just arrived from months of luxury and pampering so when she meets heathcliff, her reaction is filled with disgust. her snobby personality takes over and implies that she is quite a lady now and expects everyone else to be the same. But deep down she is still the wild thing she grew up to be and all this civilised front Is just an act.
When she returns she is perceived as a “lovely young lady” ; “quite a beauty”. Being compared to cathy;s appearance,heathcliff is quite the opposite,looking gaunt ; “black and cross” with his black unmated hair. Catherine being a haughty child picks up on this straightaway and comments on this” how black and cross you look”. she also add that she wishes for “lintons great blue eye” I think that this is the reason why heathcliff wants to change his look. he changes his appearance in order to kee cathy happy and interested and him equal in the her eyes to linton. e does this to win back cathy’s affection as she is back now heathcliff has got over her from leaving as he was”grieving not envying” for her when she was gone.
Heathcliff shows he is moving on and wants to have a fresh start meaning his appearance not his dark past state of being dull and untidy and defiantly not his love for cathy. Cathy’s dream reflects her true feelings for heathcliff. she is stuck in the middle of two men who both have their undying love to offer her but cathy has to make a choice between the two. he explains her dream which is the crux of the novel Cathy compares heathcliff and linton to two strong elements. she describes edgar as a “moonbeam” suggesting he is quite a calm and soft character,but not nearly as strong as the light given off from”lightining” which she compares heathcliff as. She statesheathcliff to fire which symbolises wildness in their love along with passion,but filled with danger and is unpredictable which makes their journey together even more exciting. Whereas she compares edgar to safe object a”moonbeam”.
His shows even though their relationship is filled with safe and even fake love it will always be lifeless. she describes him as being “frost” which embodies a cold and impassioned affair which lacks the warmth that every relationship must have so when she describes heathcliffs relationship to “fire” which could mean that their bond is explosive and exuberant with chemistry between the two lovers. all these similies are an example of elemental love. the juztaposition is that all the similies that go well with the different love all three share.
Heathcliff echos the fate of milo which was an athlete who tried to cut a tree in half howeve the tree bein stronger then him fought back and got his hands stuck in the middle. this could be a parallel of cathy ans heathcliff being the tree and edgar being the stubborn athlete and tries to come inbetween them and tries to break them up,but fails. But he will always be stuck in the middle. The symbolism of the budded branched tree represents cathy and heathcliffs love “old ash tree” show cathy and heathcliffs love is old and everlasting as the tree will stay there till “the end of time”.
The “budded branch” reflects the new life of cathrine,baby cathy. bronte uses these natural symbolism to show the future and present happenings. This shows that their relationship is destructive as the definition of love for Cathy and Heathcliff is perhaps an original creation. It is not based on appearances, sexual attraction, or even virtue, but rather a shared being. Cathy says: “I am Heathcliff he’s always, always in my mind not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself but as my own being. ” In this sense, her decision to marry Edgar is a terrible mistake: she will be abandoning the essence of herself.
Apparently the sexual aspect of love is so meaningless for her that she believes marriage to Edgar will not come between her and Heathcliff: because they share a bond so strong and unbreakable she would not consciously abandon her soul. Heathcliff thinks otherwise, since he runs away. Cathrines sudden death is caused by several different things; one of these could have been connected to her social reasons as woman in hgh society had to wear tight fitted corsets which altered her ribcage and deformed her diagraphragm and breathing patternswhich caused her to have a premature baby.
The other reasons could have been because of heathcliff Edgars reaction to the birth of their daughter is disappointed as he was expecting a boy to carry the family name and could inherite his property and money. “I mentally abused old linon for notsecuring his estate to his daughter,instead of his son,this shows that linton would not allow his daughter to carry the heir on but waited for a son to arrive to pass it on as he thought that boys could be trusted and do a proper job.
Heathcliff and cathys love is passionate and dangerous which makes it fun but wrong in all the diiferent reasons. firstly heathcliff and cathy are both different status,cathy is higher in society then heathcliff whereas heathcliff started off as a poor orphan roamin ghte streets of Liverpool. they both may be the same person but both have different issues as cathy is more botheres about her status and wealth whereas heathcliff is uite the opposite and cares non other then cathy. i think that they both could and could not be together for twon reasons.
It would be a bad idea if they got together as they have a different status up in society so that would clash and soon drive them apart. i also think that they should be together because they truly love each other dearly and would do anything too prove it but if they didn’t live in a community full of hierarchy and disapprovals maybe they could have had a normal love like everyother person but because of the haughty people in the community they couldn’t. but I think that they should as they are one person “whatever our souls are made of,his and mine are the same”