Parental Influences in Heathcliff, Cathy and Linton Essay

Parental Influences in Heathcliff, Cathy and Linton Essay

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Emily Brontë, in her novel, Wuthering Heights, suggests that children, in their very nature, exhibit traits from their parental influences. However, these traits are not always represented at the same time and can come out in different situations. For instance, as Cathy Linton grows up, her personality is a mixture of her calmer father, Edgar, and her more fiery mother, Catherine. She shows both these personalities, but she limits each to the correct time and circumstance. Also, the same goes for Linton Heathcliff, who has become a mixture of both his mother, Isabella, and his father, Heathcliff. Lastly, this is shown in Hareton Earnshaw, who, because he has little to no relationship with his biological parents, has turned into a man more like Heathcliff, his surrogate father, instead of Hindley, his genetic father. In this way, parental influence can shape a child into becoming more like them.
Cathy Linton, daughter of Edgar Linton and Catherine Earnshaw, demonstrates traits from her parents. In fact, these very traits can explain a lot about her and her actions. Her mother, Catherine Earnshaw, was born to a more “hot” and strong family, the Earnshaw family. As a child, Catherine was a more masculine girl, asking a whip from her father going into town, and she was always strong and powerful, having strong actions and opinions. Cathy’s father, Edgar Linton, grew up in a fancier house with manners. His family, the Linton family, could be described as “cool” and generally weaker than the Earnshaw family. Together, he and Catherine married to create a marriage of opposite personalities. One side, Catherine, was much stronger and more dominant in the relationship. The other side, Edgar, was much weaker in the relationship, and he ge...


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...conduct of Heathcliff, much like Cathy and Linton did with their own parents.
In all three examples there is one common point: all of them gain characteristics and traits from their parental influences. In Cathy, her mother and father, Catherine and Edgar, shape her and give her a balance between strength and weakness. In Linton, his mother and father, Isabella and Heathcliff, pass on peevishness and power. In Hareton, Heathcliff takes the place as his influence and passes on the need for power and control, as well strength. In Wuthering Heights, Brontë does show that parents pass on traits to their children. Although these children do not show these characteristics at the same time, the connection to their influences is present within them, waiting for the right time to become present.



Works Cited

Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. London: Penguin, 1847. Print.

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