Essay on The Suffering of the Women in Wuthering Heights

Essay on The Suffering of the Women in Wuthering Heights

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The Suffering of the Women in Wuthering Heights


It appears that Catherine's expectations are unrealistic especially
when placed in the historical context. The novel is written during the
Victorian era where the role of women in relation to marriage was that
they were to be obedient, disciplined and faithful to their husband.

Catherine does not fulfil any of these roles in the long term.
Firstly, she marries Edgar for social and financial benefits. She
becomes aware that she belongs to a social class when she and
Heathcliff view life in Thrushcross Grange 'It was beautiful-a
splendid place carpeted with crimson, and crimson-covered chairs and
tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold, a shower of
glass-drops'

Catherine had a treatment of the luxurious lifestyle at Thrushcross
Grange, that had been neglected under Hindley's running of the house
and wants to maintain this standard of living. Consequently, she
marries Edgar because 'he is handsome, and young, and cheerful, and
rich' even though she is aware that her deepest feelings of love
belong with Heathcliff 'My love for Linton is like the foliage in the
woods. Time will change it. My love for Heathcliff resembles the
eternal rocks beneath-a sources of little visible delight, but
necessary'. It is this necessity of love that makes Catherine suffer.
It is understandable that Catherine marries Edgar to improve her
quality of life, as there would be few alternatives to do this, as
women had no career prospects.

However, Catherine's marries Edgar not only for her benefit but
because 'If I marry Linton, I can aid Heathcliff and place him out of
my brother's power'

It is here that Catherine has unrealistic expectations although her
altru...


... middle of paper ...


...d sympathy for
Isabella because even Heathcliff warns her to some extent 'he stared
hard at the object of discourse (Isabella), as one might do at a
strange repulsive animal'. It seems that Isabella wilfully misreads
the signals because she has a romantic illusion that she can tame the
broody character into a loving one 'It is deplorable ignorance of his
character which makes that dream enter your head. Pray, don' imagine
that he conceals depths of benevolence and affection beneath a stern
exterior!' as Catherine says from experience.

Moreover, Isabella gave birth to Linton, who is another character that
is tended to be disliked. Linton represents the weak and feeble
characteristics that are apparent in his mother and Edgar, which lead
to further suffering especially under comparison with the strong and
cunning characteristics in Heathcliff and Cathy.

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