- Published: July 29, 2022
- Updated: July 29, 2022
- University / College: Durham University
- Level: Bachelors Degree
- Language: English
- Downloads: 4
The novel portrays the love-hate relationship between Heathcliff (a homeless gypsy) and Catherine Earnshaw (Mr. Earnshaw’s daughter). Besides, the novel develops through the technique of flash-back, adopted by the novelist. The narrator of the novel is Mr. Lockwood, who is an affluent individual from the south. The psychological aspects of the novel are not limited to the sphere of the protagonist (say, Heathcliff) but it extends to the relationship among the family members and the other characters in the novel. For instance, Heathcliff’s identity as an abandoned gypsy and Catherine’s refusal to marry him are the reasons behind his psychological problems. In the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Mr. Lockwood opines about Heathcliff that “ I felt interested in a man who seemed more exaggeratedly reserved than me” (3). On the other side, Catherine’s problems are interconnected with her social status as a member of an aristocratic family and her love towards Heathcliff. To be specific, Heathcliff considers that his identity and illiteracy are interconnected with his ancestry as a gypsy. On the other side, Catherine considers that her social status can be sustained by marrying Edgar Linton. At the same time, Catherine was not able to find out an apt solution for her psychological problems. Heathcliff did not try to take revenge on Catherine because he knew that the best possible way to take revenge is to transform his social status and to entrap Edgar and his family. So, one can see that the core element of the novel is interconnected with the psychological features of the main characters.
II. Emotional and mental trauma/dilemma
The elements of emotional and mental trauma/dilemmas revolve around the main characters like Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. The emotional and mental problems faced by Heathcliff originate from his status as a servant and gypsy lineage. But he was aware of the fact that his status will affect his relationship with Catherine. When Catherine rejected him, he decided to break the social norms on lineage and richness. To be specific, emotional and mental trauma/dilemma forced Heathcliff to break his inhibitions. This helped him to grab control over Mr. Earnshaw’s family. But Catherine was not ready to cross the boundary of social status. This attitude forced her to ignore Heathcliff and to accept Edgar. Catherine says to Nelly that “ Whereas if I marry Linton, I can aid Heathcliff, and place him out of my brother’s power” (181). But she was not able to forget Heathcliff and it resulted in emotional and mental trauma/dilemma. In short, the main characters (say, the hero and the heroine) face the same problem but they acted differently according to their social status and mental strength.
Summing, one cannot ignore the gothic elements in the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. At the same time, the main characters represent the psychological problems, emotional, and mental trauma/dilemmas faced by individuals in a non-flexible society. Heathcliff represents the existential dilemma faced by the downtrodden members of society and Catherine represents the unrealistic belief on social status and lineage.
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