Relationships in 'Wuthering Heights' Quiz | 10 Questions
Books take on an important role in the relationship between Hareton and Catherine: Hareton's illiteracy is the most glaring result of Heathcliff's. Although Hareton and Cathy begin their relationship in conflict, they in the Heathcliff-Catherine relationship is “off-center” in the text (the wild. This lesson focuses on the relationship between Edgar and Catherine in Wuthering Heights. Cathy and Hareton tell Nelly that they plan to marry in the future.
She is integral as a maternal figure in rearing many of the children, but remains an outsider due to her social class as a domestic servant. Nelly, in many senses, is the main character of the novel for it is she who tells the majority of the tale. We see events through her eyes and she is quick to judge and to criticise her charges for their actions. Nelly can be seen as a sensible and reliable narrator. For instance, as a mother figure she condemns Catherine's tantrums and Heathcliff's inability to forgive, merely voicing the values of mainstream society.
Yet Nelly is ineffectual and disempowered; her moralising does not prevent disaster. In fact, in many ways, her actions add to it. A case in point is her betrayal of Cathy by revealing the correspondence with Linton to Edgar, which leads to Cathy's more extreme action in escaping the boundaries of Thrushcross Grange. Nelly often does and says what makes her look good. Therefore, Nelly's narrative should not be seen as neutral and unbiased.
Nelly herself is rather a mystery — for example, who is Mr Dean and where is this husband? What are her own origins, given that she, like Hindley and Heathcliff, has grown up at the Heights? The reader need not always agree with her judgments, but formulate their own. Advertisement The novel is divided into two halves, which are in dialogue with each other. Many film and television productions leave out the second key relationship so vital to the novel's meaning.
The first part centres on the love between Catherine and Heathcliff. At this stage Heathcliff seems a romantic figure.
He is mysterious and his genesis is unknown - he is thought to be a gypsy orphan taken from the streets of Liverpool. His dangerous working-class presence, as perceived by Hindley, threatens the very basis of the Earnshaw gentry and indeed he eventually seeks to bring it down. Catherine, on the other hand, romanticises his origins, imagining him as a prince. Rather like the surly Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Heathcliff has dark good looks, an impressive build, and the enigmatic personality of the classic Byronic romance hero.
He does not whimper at the treatment dealt him by Hindley, but rails against it. Readers, at this stage, admire his pluck and determination in spite of the unfair hand life has dealt him. This reading goes against Nelly's imagery of him right from the start as "demonic," "villainous" and "bestial". Catherine and Heathcliff are both outsiders. Cathy and Hareton's relationship changes when, eventually, Cathy decides to help him with his secret self-education by teaching him how to read and talk properly.
At first Hareton is uneasy about this, suspecting some patronising trickery, but it soon comes to be that the two fall in love. Heathcliff thus allows his emotions to take him over, and, because of his secret regard for Hareton who in many ways resembles himhis sudden indifference about his enemies' destruction and his increasingly overwhelming desire to be with his soul mate Catherine Earnshaw, he lets the two continue their romance.
Hareton is deeply hurt by his subsequent death, because he views Heathcliff as his true father. He kisses his corpse relentlessly, digging the grave with tears spilling down his cheeks.
As Nelly points out, "poor Hareton, the most wronged, was the only one who really suffered much" for Heathcliff's demise: He sat by the corpse all night, weeping in bitter earnest. He pressed its hand, and kissed the sarcastic, savage face that every one else shrank from contemplating; and bemoaned him with that strong grief which springs naturally from a generous heart, though it be tough as tempered steel.
If Wuthering Heights were a conventional Victorian novel, it would condemn the nontraditional wild romance and favor the domestic union. The text is about the struggle between a romantic, wild love and a tame, domestic one. Wuthering Heights ends with the promise of marriage but no actual weddingone of the common closures cited by Miller, and certainly seems to present a socially acceptable relationship and a valuing of Victorian ideals of domesticity.
This love is one that is acceptable, because reserved and patient, rather than wild and obsessive. Although Hareton and Cathy begin their relationship in conflict, they develop a mutual affection Both youths are willing to work for a strong relationship: However, they plan to move to Thrushcross Grange.
Hareton Earnshaw - Wikipedia
The reader knows the Grange, and can therefore guess at what sort of future the couple will have—one characterized by the same domestic and civilized qualities as the novel generally associates with their new home. While the impending marriage and love between Hareton and Cathy certainly suggest a favoring by the novel of conventional love and domestic marriage, there are many things within the text that also appear to imply an equal acceptance of the wild passion of the earlier generation.
Counter-traditional plots are those that break away from societal norms and in the end favor an unconventional idea of marriage. The doubling in this text works to keep the counter-traditional text secondary to the traditional thread; yet, perhaps ironically, it is the traditional thread that provides the clues as to the importance of the sub-text. The two Catherines, even through their very names, first suggest this idea of doubling within the text.
Of course, these characters are not exact replicas; in physical appearance, the text emphasizes that the two Catherines are only similar. Still, when reading the novel, one cannot help associating the second Catherine with the first. The mother and daughter pair depart on similar relationships, as well, each becoming involved in unhappy marriages to Lintons. The first Catherine is involved in a nearly-savage and socially unacceptable relationship with the outcast Heathcliff.
Their romance is characterized by passion and obsession, the socially unacceptable product of the wild, untamed Earnshaw and the savage, demonic Heathcliff. Because of this nature, he would never be a suitable match for Catherine. Still, the two view themselves as one; in a speech to Nelly, Catherine asserts this point: Heathcliff, too, views them as somehow connected. Heathcliff is haunted until his death by visions of Catherine—by his love for Catherine.
Heathcliff is an outsider, a foreigner with no past Heathcliff himself would be a socially unacceptable match for Catherine. The obsession that characterizes their romance makes their union even more unacceptable. It represents a passion that does not fit in the domestic sphere of marriage. Catherine, of course, cannot marry Heathcliff; it is out of the realm of possibility for a socially acceptable Victorian novel.
She in essence removes herself; because inherently connected with Heathcliff and Wuthering Heights, Catherine is not of the same stock as the cultured Lintons and the Grange.
Nelly states that when she returns home from her stay at the Grange, Catherine is an entirely different person: Her time spent as an adult at the Grange is also characterized by unhappiness. When Heathcliff returns, things are better, but only until tensions between Heathcliff and Linton prevent any future visits from the former Catherine somewhat recovers her strength and health, but her moods are varied Eventually, however, her heartsickness over the loss of Heathcliff combines with her pregnancy to lead to her death The separation from Heathcliff forced on her by the conflicts between him and her husband leads to misery in the conventional union.
If the text were solely supportive of the Victorian marital tradition, one would expect this marriage to be a happy union.