Consequences Of Victorian Society In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

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Over the course of human existence, the idea of class structure and the division of individuals based on their societal rank and position has remained tried and true. From King Henry II’s monarchal vice grip on his English followers in the 11th century, to Hitler’s physical and mental disparaging of the Jews, the subjugation of people based on their place in society has endured as a common development. Similarly, in Emily Brontë’s Gothic novel Wuthering Heights, Brontë as a whole criticizes that Victorian society is ruled by aristocrats, corrupt noble families and individuals with great materialistic possessions. These immoral individuals in turn serve to oppress and undermine individuals of a lower class. The modern literary criticisms Wuthering…show more content…
In Emily Brontë’s well renowned, dramatic Gothic novel Wuthering Heights, Brontë’s character development of Heathcliff to have horrid motives, a vengeful ego, and to transform from an innocent child to a tyrannical madman exemplifies the corruptions and immoralities of Victorian Society and its destructive effects on an individual. Throughout the dark, romantic novel, Wuthering Heights, Brontë explores the false realities of high social status and wealth in Victorian society and its damaging consequences by outlining the loving, yet dysfunctional relationship of Catherine and Heathcliff. In the beginning of the novel, the orphan, Heathcliff, and Catherine, the daughter of Mr. Earnshaw grow up with each other in the mysterious complex of Wuthering Heights, and over time learn to deeply love one another. Catherine even goes on to articulate that, “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” (Brontë 70). Although for many years Heathcliff and Catherine had adored each other, Catherine’s new found love for gaining social status and wealth triggers her to marry Edgar, an individual whom she is not emotionally…show more content…
Due to the three taking on the id, ego and superego of one character, and the luring economic and social forces of society it leads to the corruption of Heathcliff and the overpowering of the id over the ego and superego. Throughout the novel Heathcliff most represents the id as he seeks to fulfill his impulses and does whatever he desires without pondering the consequences set by society. Heathcliff can be seen representing the id when he mistreats his wife Isabella and does what he primitively desires. Heathcliff states that, “I have no pity! I have no pity! The more the worms writhe, the more I yearn to crush out their entrails…I grind with greater energy, in proportion to the increase of pain” (Brontë 131). The id is controlled by one’s unconscious mind and is not controlled by the law or morality in the slightest. In this conflict, it is clear that when Heathcliff degrades his wife and son he ignores moral factors, laws and ethics. Heathcliff performs his revenge and cruelty upon others to satisfy his primitive nature. As for Catherine, she represents the ego as she can deal with others in society and has a sense of thoughtfulness and ethics. Unlike Heathcliff, Catherine has the power to determine what is right and

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