Wuthering Heights Essay
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In Chapter 5, Nelly comments that though capable of sweetness, Cathy likes “to act the little mistress,” and it is this awareness of the social differences between she and Heathcliff that lead her, to marry Edgar Linton who is “handsome” and “pleasant to be with. ” In Chapter 9 when Nelly implies that these reasons are superficial, Cathy tells of her plan to use Edgar’s money to help Heathcliff “rise” from his outsider status, and how it would “degrade” her to marry Heathcliff, although she does say Heathcliff is “more myself than I am”: This viewpoint displays love where Freud says “the boundary between ego and object threatens to melt away.
Against all the evidence of their senses, a man/woman who are in love declare ‘I’ and ‘you’ are one, and is prepared to behave as if it were a fact. ” As a result Edgar Linton is an outsider to this love, and this ultimately leads to Cathy’s refusal to respond to his later request that she either “give up Heathcliff” or him, for it is “impossible for [her] to be [his] friend” and “[Heathcliff’s] at the same time. “
This battle between the two men to posses Cathy inevitably results in her death. Although Heathcliff has the appearance and manners of a gentleman, the revenge he plans is diabolical, and though she loves him, Cathy is not fooled, when she and Heathcliff meet for the last time she tells him, he has “broken [her] heart” and that she shall not be at peace. ” She dies two hours after midnight, having given birth to a “puny, seven months child”.
The location of Cathy’s grave then indicates the extent to which she was separated from the rest of her family and from the society of Gimmerton, “Neither in the chapel under the monument of the Linton’s”, nor yet the tombs of her own relations, outside” It is a spot isolated within the churchyard and reclaimed by the wilderness of the moor as befits her nature. Heathcliff is later buried alongside her allowing the kindred souls to “merge” and dissolve into each other to achieve a unity, which transcends the petty struggles of social class and outsiders, ever present in the world of “Wuthering Heights”.
“Wuthering Heights” is often seen by critics to allude to ideas of The Fall, evident in the character of Isabella Linton who falls from the enviable position of being an insider, to an outsider. In spite of Cathy’s blunt warning that “He’s a fierce, pitiless, wolfish man”, Isabella still chooses to elope with Heathcliff under the delusion of him being a Byronic Hero. However in her failure to heed Cathie’s warning she finds herself measured against the standards of her legal overseer and turned into a “fugitive”.
As a woman of the 19th century she would have been heavily dependent on her husband and Heathcliff sees this as an opportunity to literally incarcerate her in a marriage she describes as “worse than solitude. ” In Chapter 13 when she decides to return home, the rift between brother and sister is evident as Edgar refuses to take her back claiming, “She is only [his] sister in name”, precipitating her departure to the south, where she remains an outsider and outcast until her death. Similarly in “Oranges” Jeanette’s return to the fold is ultimately problematic and unsatisfactory as nothing seems to have changed.