Eternal Love Triangles Essay, Research Paper
Mark Anthony, Cleopatra, and Caesar. King Arthur, Guinevere, and Launcellot. Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, and Don Johnson. Heathcliff, Catherine, Edgar. These four groups of people all represent the eternal love triangle. The eternal love triangle has existed for thousands of years. It always exists either between 2 guys and 1 woman, or between 2 women and 1 guy. These triangles usually end in pain or sometimes in happiness. The eternal love triangle always seems to add to the content of the book as well as adding friction to the plot of the story. This is also the case in the book Wuthering Heights. Up till the point of Catherine’s death, there is a large conflicting love triangle between Heathcliff, Catherine, and Edgar. Emily Bronte has done a good job of showing this classical harlequin plot, by also adding a number of other love triangles to the story line. These other love triangles include: Heathcliff, Isabella, and Edgar. Linton, young Catherine, and Hareton Earnshaw. These types of relationships have always interested people and will continue to do so.
When Wuthering Heights starts out, we are introduced to Heathcliff, and Hindley Earnshaw. They are brothers because their father has adopted Heathcliff. They are both fighting for the love of Hindley’s father Mr. Earnshaw. This is one of the first love triangles in the book. Later we see that Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw are doing activities together and they seem to enjoy each others company. Anybody who looks at this relationship will say that it is healthy. But when Catherine meets Edgar Linton, she decides that looks, and money are better than a personality. Catherine does not really decide this until Heathcliff leaves for London, in order to be educated.
It has been said that women go after the type of man that; lives on the edge, he may or may not have a lot of money and he looks good. They go after this kind of person in order to reproduce. But once they have accomplished this they look for a guy that is stable, has a good personality and would be a good family figure.
Catherine says “My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees”(Bronte, pg 59) she is talking of her love for Linton and how she thinks that over time it will grow. But Catherine then says “My love for Heathcliff remembers the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. He’s always on my mind” (Bronte, pg. 59). This quote is referring to the fact that evens though he may not be that out going, Catherine seems to see the good in him. She also believes that he supports her throughout whatever she does, she is not sure about Edgar.
When looking at Heathcliff, we see that he is a very quiet person, and not very outgoing toward most people. Although Catherine sees more in him, her and Mr. Earnshaw sr. are the only ones that see this potential. Most people could say that other than the looks he does not have much to offer to anyone. Although Heathcliff is not very out going, he does go to London to get some education. We are aware that this does change how he acts but not very visibly. Since he does not know that he will be coming back, Catherine decides to marry the only other eligible man in the area, Edgar Linton. And so the love triangle starts with Catherine now going after the third person in the triangle: Edgar Linton.
Heathcliff comes back to Wuthering Heights to find out that the woman that he once loved has married someone else! Instead of trying to get between Catherine and Edgar, Heathcliff decides that he will marry Isabella Linton instead in order to be close to Catherine. He also may be doing this in order to show that there is an ugly side to Edgar as well as the side that Catherine may only see. Although Heathcliff and Catherine have married different people, they both start to hang out together again when Heathcliff comes back to Wuthering Heights. This may be part of Heathcliff’s plan to show Catherine that Edgar is not a very nice person. The other part of the plan may be when Edgar finds out that his sister has married Heathcliff. Edgar disowns his sister in order to keep Heathcliff from being able to get close to Catherine again. Edgar informs Isabella at a later date that if she ever wants to hear from him again, or to see him again that she must “. . . persuade the villain she married to leave the country.” (Bronte, Pg106) Edgar does this because of the friction he has with Heathcliff and the fact that if Heathcliff stays any where near Thrushcross Grange, Catherine may stray from Edgar.
This avoidance of the Heights continues for the rest of the book. Edgar continues telling everybody at Thrushcross Grange to stay away from Wuthering Heights. Edgar believes that everybody at Wuthering Heights are rather strange people. He believes that is why his sister Isabella left the Heights for London Eng.
The way Edgar and Heathcliff act around Catherine is the way most of the people in love triangles act. If the one male in this case has the women, then he tries everything to keep it that way. While the male that does not have the women is constantly trying to seduce the women into coming with him. Although in the case of Wuthering Heights, Edgar marries Catherine and then basically says to Heathcliff: I got the women and if you come near her I will kill you. Edgar does not actually come close to killing Heathcliff. However, that is only because Catherine dies the night that Heathcliff is there.
There is always one person in the love triangle that loses out in the end. With the love triangle of Heathcliff, Catherine, and Edgar, it seems that both the men were the ones that got the pain. The friction became so much that it broke up not just the Earnshaw family but it also broke up the Linton family. So that in the end you have two men living on separate estates, not wanting anything to with the other. This is shown quite often in love triangles, where the pain of losing the one everyone is focussing on dies or disappears completely. This seems to be the only viable option left in the end.