Wuthering Heights

Word Count: 1475

The purpose of this paper is to assess the novel, "Wuthering Heights," by Emily Bronte, particularly within the context of the character, Catherine. Catherine plays a prominent role throughout "Wuthering Heights." For the most part, it is her love of Heathcliff which represents the crutch of the human struggle encountered by Catherine, as well as other characters throughout the story -- but especially Catherine. Curiously, relationships of that period were more often than not governed by social convention. The relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff is an exception to this...while, ultimately, one Thrushcroff Grange attracts Catherine, and thusly leads her to stray from her true nature. It is difficult to separate the character from the author, noting that the author\'s childhood was basically isolated and gloomy, and Catherine herself, is a truly private individual. It is this sense of privacy, in my opinion, that supersedes any other factor throughout the story. To understand this sense of inwardness, one must explore the novel itself. The story begins in the early 1800\'s (c. 1801) and one Mr. Lockwood removed from the narrative. The novel begins to take shape, only after some degree of reading, when we realize what is happening at Wuthering Heights in conjunction with Thrushcroff Grange. Soon afterwards, Nelly Dean makes her appearance, while she herself is somewhat unpreceptible. Overall, content and structure is rather fractured, although a so-called Satanic hero begins to emerge as a creature of darkness as well as rebellion and passion. Conversely, pressures on Heathcliff are internal. Results of his life emanate from his orphan years in Liverpool and his horrific treatment at Wuthering Heights. The author underscores the violence and darkness of man...even to such a primal and universal degree that it is impossible to overcome. In the beginning, Mr. Lockwood visits his landlord. He is a new tenant at Thrushcroff Grange and finds himself to be most unwelcome. His treatment by the landlord, Mr. Heathcliff, the servants, and even the dogs is less than welcoming. Heathcliff is something of a paradox. He exhibits the manners of country squire, urbane and handsome although aloof and private. Wuthering Heights itself is basically an old farmhouse and its namesake comes from the weather which it has had to endure. Overall, I found this book to be extremely personal, and almost eccentric. By eccentric, I mean the views that are put forth are very private and even difficult to understand. I believe that one really has to assume an interest if he or she is to absorb the goings on throughout the novel. As indicated previously, inwardness,
or privacy is the seminal theme in this novel. Lockwood is particularly interested in those residents of Wuthering Heights and repeatedly visits. One particular night, he is snowed in and forced to stay much to the chagrin of Heathcliff. It is during this time that he encounters other members of the household including Heathcliff\'s daughter-in-law who is young and pretty, although her looks are scornful and hateful. When it is bedtime, Lockwood is shown to a bedroom which appeared to not have been used and observes the names Catherine Earnshaw, Catherine Heathcliff, and Catherine Linton -- all scratched on a window seat. Looking through some blank pages of an old book, which are something like diary entries by the guests, he observes the handwriting of a
young girl named Catherine who speaks of how Hindley mistreated Heathcliff and how Hindley tried to drive Heathcliff away. Similarly, he reads how Catherine and Heathcliff conspire to "rebel" against Hindley\'s unkindly actions. Rebellion is another theme which appears to pervade this novel. At this point, the story becomes somewhat metaphoric, or dreamlike, as Lockwood falls asleep dreaming of a girl who is crying and tapping on a window begging to be led in after 20 years of wandering about. At this point, he
awakens screaming and reports his dream to the landlord. Heathcliff shoves Lockwood aside and looks out into the storm calling to Catherine to come in. Meanwhile, at Thrushcroff Grange, we find Catherine happy to have a new friend, who,
although hated by Hindley, takes the place of his father\'s affection. This is to say that Catherine attempted to make him a part of her father\'s affections. It is difficult to say exactly