Wuthering Heights Essay, Research Paper
Wuthering Heights competes with established social reality. Throughout the nineteenth century, the British novel displayed an increasing degree of ?realism? (Student Resource Center np). Wuthering Heights is built around a central fall-generally understood to be Catherine and Heathcliff?s fall from hell to heaven (Frederico 322). The first generation of Wuthering Heights failed to develop a mature understanding of themselves and others (322). Modern critics disagree over what the novel is about, but they have differed little from those early reviewers (Student Resource Center np). Wuthering Heights, is the story of a violently tormented child, Heathcliff, who falls madly in love with Catherine Earnshaw, and the violence and misery that comes from their intense love for each other.
Emily Jane Bronte was born on July 30, 1818 in Thorton, Yorkshire, England. She was the fifth of six children, and the fourth daughter. In 1825, Emily was sent to join her sisters Maria, Elizabeth, and Charlotte at school (Telgen 309). Emily?s schooling left no traceable effects. She was there only eight months (Kilvert 108). At home they were taught for the next six years. They were encouraged to read biographies and history (108). Wuthering Heights was her only novel. It was first published in 1847, and a second edition was published in 1850, two years after her death. She also has written one
hundred and ninety three poems. Emily Bronte spent most of her short lifetime and apart from her own imagination (Telgen 309). In 1842, Charlotte and Emily traveled to Brussels, Belgium and intended to study languages, but returned home later that year because of the death of their aunt, who had left them what money she had (309). Wuthering Heights is a complex novel, and critics have approached it from many different standpoints (Woodford 321). Emily Bronte was a very private person and her reading was very limited and without method (Winifred np). Emily?s father did better for his children. He hired a music teacher for the girls so they could take lessons (Kilvert 108). Emily Bronte?s reputation appeared disproportionate (Bronte Crit. 301). She died shortly after her book was published and just prior to her thirtieth birthday (Woodford 321).
At the beginning of Wuthering Heights, there are two families. The Earnshaws, who lived at Wuthering Heights, and the Lintons, who lived on the neighboring estate of Thrushcross Grange (Winifred np). The Linton?s have two children: Edgar and Isabella. The Earnshaws also have two children: Hindley, and Catherine, a much younger sister. There?s also Heathcliff. He?s about the same age as Catherine (Winifred np). Mr. Lockwood, the newly arrived man from Thrushcross Grange, opens the story with comments about his visit to Wuthering Heights, where he sees his landlord and neighbor, Mr. Heathcliff; Joseph, an old servant; Hareton Earnshaw, an ignorant young man, and the Catherine Heathcliff, widow of Heathcliff?s dead son (Telgen 309). Because of rough weather, Mr. Lockwood had to spend the night in Wuthering Heights. While there, he finds several old books that were Catherine?s mother?s; Catherine Earnshaw. While
looking through the books, Lockwood sees about the childhood adventures that Catherine Earnshaw, and Heathcliff, and Catherine?s brother, Hindley experienced. Lockwood then falls asleep, and dreams that Catherine Earnshaw comes to the window and begs for him to let her in (Telgen 310). He wakes up screaming, and goes to get Heathcliff, and opens the window to beg for Catherine to return. The next morning, Lockwood feels very sick and gets the servant, Nelly Dean to tell him about her days at Wuthering Heights (310). She tells how Mr. Earnshaw, Hindley, and Catherine?s father brought Heathcliff home, after a trip to Liverpool. After the father died, Hindley became master of the house and guardian of the two children. He also married Frances, a woman from outside the area (Winifred np). Hindley and Frances give birth to a son, Hareton. While giving birth, Frances died. Hindley starts drinking and becomes even more bossy and hateful. When Edgar proposed to Catherine, she accepts, but tells Nelly that she would never have done so if her brother had not turned Heathcliff into someone it would disgrace her to marry (Telgen 310). She says ?I wish I could hold you (Heathcliff) ?till we both were dead? (Bronte 3). When Heathcliff over hears the comment Catherine makes, he flees to Wuthering Heights before she goes on to explain to Nelly the more depth feelings she has for Heathcliff. Catherine then married Edgar, since her real soul mate, Heathcliff, was forced by Catherine?s brother, Hindley, to leave her alone (Telgen 309). Catherine and Heathcliff still continue to truly love each other. Catherine and Edgar seem very happy, until Heathcliff returns, wealthy and with a good education. He lives at Wuthering Heights, where he gambles Hindley out of all his possessions (309). The book says
?Hindley Earnshaw falls under Heathcliff?s influence, gambles away his property, and drinks himself to death? (Bronte, 7).
As time passes, Isabella, Edgar?s sister, begins to love Heathcliff. Heathcliff begins to show interest in Isabella, and when Nelly informs Edgar of this, he becomes furious. A fight begins between Edgar and Heathcliff, and Heathcliff is kicked out of Grange (Telgen 310). To punish Edgar, Catherine refuses to eat for three days and drives herself into a state of madness. While Edgar tries to get her back to a healthy start, Isabella and Heathcliff elope (310). Isabella soon regrets her marriage to the cruel Heathcliff. Isabella writes to Nelly, telling her of her miserable life at Wuthering Heights and begs for her to visit (Telgen 310). ?This is the last thing of his I have about me,? says Isabella. She took of her wedding band, and threw it on the floor, repeatedly saying, ?I?ll smash it? (Bronte, 167). Heathcliff takes advantage of Nelly?s visit to request a meeting with Catherine, who is pregnant. Nelly agrees, and a few days later while Edgar was at church, Heathcliff enters the Grange, and sees Catherine for the last time (Telgen 310). Edgar enters and finds Heathcliff hugging Catherine, who has fainted. Catherine then dies without regaining her senses, but two hours before her death; she gives birth to a daughter, Catherine (310). Edgar and Heathcliff are both in shock about Catherine?s death and Heathcliff begs her ghost to haunt him. ?Whether still on earth or now in heaven, her spirit is at home with God? says Heathcliff (Bronte 161). After Catherine?s death, Isabella shows up at the Grange, after leaving the Heights. She swears she will never return, but she refuses to stay at the Grange (310). She is scared Heathcliff will
find her there. She moves to South of England and gives birth to a sickly boy that she names Linton.
Twelve years later, Isabella, near death, writes to her brother and asks him to care for her son after she dies. Edgar brings Linton home, but Heathcliff immediately
demands custody of his son (Telgen 311). Young Catherine, daughter of Catherine and Edgar was not told that her cousin was so close by, until one day she meets Heathcliff and Linton. ?Linton is just six months younger than me. How delightful it will be to have him for a playfellow? says Catherine (Bronte 193). Heathcliff told Nelly that he hopes Linton and young Catherine will fall in love and marry (311). Then, Nelly decides to take Catherine on a trip to Wuthering Heights. That visit led to more and more visits by young Catherine. Edgar puts a stop to all the visits, but then finally agrees to let Catherine and Linton meet at weeks at a time (Telgen 311). Heathcliff knew that Edgar was on his deathbed, and tricked Catherine and Nelly into going to Wuthering Heights, where he kept them, and forced Catherine and Linton to marry. Catherine then convinced Linton to help her escape and she arrives at the Grange just in time to see her dying father (311). ?My master is dying.? Catherine replied. ?It is true enough. A sad thing it will be for us, but a blessing for him? (Bronte 255). After her father?s death, young Catherine was forced to return to the Heights and tend to her dying husband, Linton. He died shortly after her arrival, and Catherine, sad and alone had to continue to stay at Wuthering Heights (311).
The day after hearing this, Lockwood visits the Heights and tells everyone that he will be leaving for London. Returning months later, to settle some business, he saw that
Thrushcross Grange was deserted and things changed drastically at the Heights (Telgen 311). Hareton and Catherine, previously enemies, have fallen in love and Catherine is helping Hareton in his attempts to educate himself. Nelly now works at the Heights, and while the lovers enjoy a nice walk on the land, Nelly tells Lockwood about Heathcliff?s death, which followed four days of starvation because he was haunted by the vision of his beloved Catherine (311). He was buried next to Catherine, with the sides of their coffins removed in order for their ashes to be together, and the country people say that a person walking on the land will sometimes see the ghosts of Heathcliff and Catherine walking around their old playground (Telgen 311).
Thesis: Wuthering Heights, is the story of a violentle tormented child, Heathcliff, who falls madly in love with Catherine Earnshaw, and the violence and misery that comes from their intense love for each other.
A. Author biography
B . Irony/overall points
A. Relationship with Heathcliff
C. Her daughter, Catherine
1. Her love for Heathcliff
2. Catherine?s relationship with Linton
A. Relationship with Catherine
B. Marriage to Isabella
1. His cruelty toward Isabella
2. The violent relationship with Edgar
IV. Consequences of their relationship
A. Catherine?s rocky marriage to Edgar
B. Heathcliff?s violent marriage to Isabella