The Story of Lovers in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights


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The Story of Lovers in Wuthering Heights                  

 

Set in England on the Yorkshire Moors in the 19th century, Emily Brontë¹s novel Wuthering Heights is the story of lovers who try to withstand the separation of social classes and keep their love alive. The main characters, Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff grew up on a middle class English countryside cottage called Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff was the servant and Catherine the daughter of the owner of Wuthering Heights. As children, Heathcliff and Catherine were the best of friends, a friendship which turned to love with the coming of age. Catherine married a man of the upper class society and was forced to end her love affair with Heathcliff.

Catherine was happy in her marriage at first but later became overwhelmed with her desire to be with Heathcliff. She was forced to distinguish the difference between her love for Heathcliff and her love for her new life with money. In the end, Catherine Earnshaw’s husband, Edgar Linton, died and Catherine finally realized that money and social class were not as fulfilling as her desire to have passion in her life, a desire which could only be met by Heathcliff.

Throughout the book, Catherine tried to discover who she was and what exactly she wanted. In chapters 6 and 7, Catherine thought that she had finally discovered who she was and what she wanted. These chapters are the pinnacle of the story. It was the point in the book where the social classes were determined and Catherine’s love for Heathcliff was forced to be supressed. Heathcliff and Catherine were still young and playing together innocently one day. This was before Catherine became a member of the upperclass society and realized that she could not love Heathcliff because of his social class. Heathcliff and Catherine wandered beyond the secure gates of Wuthering Heights to a large estate owned by Edgar Linton called Thrushcross Grange. They spyed through one of the windows and were caught by Linton. Heathcliff managed to escape in time but Catherine injured herself and was taken in by Linton¹s servants. Catherine stayed at Thrushcross Grange while Heathcliff returned to Wuthering Heights. She stayed at the estate for several weeks being nursed by Linton and his servants. The time she spent with Linton caused her to fall in love with him, causing her to permanently be separated from Heathcliff and the lower class life she used to know.

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Catherine became so absorbed in her new life that she forgot about Heathcliff and the pain he was feeling, until she realizes that there was something missing in her life. She finally knew that in order for her to become a whole person, she needed to be with her other half, Heathcliff.

Although there are many different important messages in this novel, the main value is the changes which occur in and between the characters. It is a love story which deals with the social classes and the supression of true feelings. Wuthering Heights is a tragedy because of what happens when the characters finally discover what was truely meant to be. Wuthering Heights bestowes a moral value onto the reader of discrimination and true heart-break.

 


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