Analysis Of Emily Bronte 's ' Wuthering Heights ' Essay

Analysis Of Emily Bronte 's ' Wuthering Heights ' Essay

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Opposites do not attract. In fact, decades of psychological research suggests that “people seek out people who are just like them” (Lehrer). It is found that surrounding oneself with people who share the same beliefs, perspectives, and traits makes one feel more comfortable. In Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, the majority of the characters are even divided into two distinct groups: the natural, passionate, and almost savage side; and the reformed, established, civilized side. The group to which they are assigned therefore characterizes their own thoughts and behavior, resulting in many character foils and conflicts between those on different sides. When this line is crossed, however, chaos ensues. Brontë uses her characters to embody the vast distinction between untamed passion and civilization, the consequence when one denies their true nature, as well as the result when these two elements are combined within those of a second generation.
The most distinct comparison in Wuthering Heights is the character foil between the kind and caring Edgar Linton and the dark and brooding Heathcliff. As soon as Edgar is introduced into the novel, the two boys are set against each other not only in fighting for Catherine’s love, but also in taking separate sides of the underlying battle between civility and savagery. Throughout the novel, Edgar is presented with civil and reformed characteristics, while Heathcliff is often given the characteristics of savagery━rough, raw. and often animalistic. During times of heightened emotion, he is described as “not like a man, but like a savage beast” (Brontë 163). The night that Catherine gets into a fiery argument with Heathcliff and then becomes engaged to Edgar, there is a distinct moment that cap...


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...true self, as well as the volatility of the characteristics of the second generation destined to correct fate. The disparity between the characters of the first generation is further developed through the conflicts between those on opposing sides. When a character chooses to abandon their true identity, as Catherine did, the consequences are drastic. In the second generation, characters exhibit traits from both sides as these elements are combined, and the effect is often volatile and unpredictable, as in the case of young Cathy and Linton, who are complete opposites. Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is a dramatic demonstration of the relationship between human psychology and genetics - the characters show us that despite popular belief, opposites by design do not attract. In fact, they take sides. In the words of the narrator, Ellen Dean: “it’s human nature” (Brontë 95).

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