Posted: November 27th, 2013
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
The book ‘Wuthering Heights’ is mostly about how two of its major characters, Catherine and Heathcliff love each other. This love is stronger than any other emotion seen in the book. The display of the destructive nature of the love between the two is one of the connections between chapters 3, 9 and 12. This love is the strongest emotion displayed in the book while at the same time it contributes to the greatest feuds that are witnessed in the book and that contribute greatly to the plot of the book. The three chapters highlight the immorality of the love shared between Catherine and Heathcliff. At the same time, the memorable nature of the love between the two is depicted in the three chapters. The three chapters are also the chapters in which the author seems most unsure of what she wants to depict the love between the two as. Whether she wants to blame them or make them idols and romantic heroes whose love knows no bounds.
The three chapters act as centers where the main story of the book is discussed. The two halves of the book talk about the love between Catherine and Heathcliff while the second half talks about the love between Catherine and Hareton. These three chapters describe these two important love patterns. The three chapters are structured in a way that once a person reads the three chapters, they can acquire the story of the book concisely. The three chapters also give two different tales; one that ends happily and the other that ends sadly. The three chapters describe a growth in the story through love. They also describe a change. Some of the changes seen are for instance, in Hareton. At the beginning, he seems irritable, brutal and savage like. However, as the story develops, especially in the ninth and twelfth chapters, he changes to a better loyal and friendlier person especially to Catherine. His state of illiteracy also changes a great deal.
The story of the transformation of Catherine is also described in these three chapters. From when she is attached to Heathcliff due to her childhood love to when she seeks more meaning to love by accepting Hareton. Her attitude also changes greatly from contempt to love. In chapter twelve when she is speaking to Nelly she admits to have had a blank life since the death of her father. “It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and [Edgar’s] is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire” (Bronte, 2000).
“The ledge, where I placed my candle, had a few mildewed books piled up in one corner; and it was covered with writing scratched on the paint. This writing, however, was nothing but a name repeated in all kinds of characters, large and small—Catherine Earnshaw, here and there varied to Catherine Heathcliff, and then again to Catherine Linton. In vapid listlessness I leant my head against the window, and continued spelling over Catherine Earnshaw—Heathcliff—Linton, till my eyes closed; but they had not rested five minutes when a glare of white letters started from the dark, as vivid as spectres—the air swarmed with Catherines; and rousing myself to dispel the obtrusive name, I discovered my candle wick reclining on one of the antique volumes, and perfuming the place with an odour of roasted calf-skin” (Bronte, 2000). The passage from chapter three describes a dream that Lockwood has in Catherine’s bed. It also shows how he met Catherine first, as a name etched on a bedstead.
The connection between the three chapters indeed aids in creating the flow of the novel. The three chapters also focus on the main characters who are Catherine, Heathcliff and Hareton. Not only their love patterns are discussed in the three chapters but also the effects of their love patterns on those around them and on themselves. Such effects are like the way in which Heathcliff reacts after learning about Catherine’s death. Another effect is the way Hareton reacts after learning that Catherine had run away with Edgar.
Bronte, E. (2000). Wuthering Heights. New York, NY: Plain Label Books.
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