Characterization in Wuthering Heights Essay

1743 Words Jun 17th, 2008 7 Pages
Wuthering Heights deals with the very nature of controversy and paradox. The novel expresses deep criticisms of social conventions, and Brontë uses her characters in their incongruous surroundings to exemplify her concerns of the strict social code which she herself was expected to abide by, whilst remaining true to the principles she considered most important. Wuthering Heights challenges orthodoxy with heterodoxy, of which destruction and chaos triumph over social pretensions.

The most undeniably constant difference of aesthetics and values that is presented to us is the juxtaposition of Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights, initially personified by Lockwood and Heathcliff, `a dark skinned gypsy', respectively. Lockwood reckoned
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Together, the overpowering strength of Catherine and Heathcliff's love challenges the very dominion of linear time, an idea that could only be considered possible, even by Lockwood, under the unexplainable forces at Wuthering Heights. Furthermore, when Catherine thinks she `was at home', `in my chamber at Wuthering Heights', when in fact she had locked herself in a room, she confesses to being confused about time, places and events, which is symbolic of the insignificance of time in relation to her own mental calendar.

Heathcliff and Catherine as a pair demonstrated opposition to religious convention particularly following the death of their Father, where Joseph's imposed religious instructions are juxtaposed with the pure, selfless thoughts of heaven of the grieving children. The death of Mr. Earnshaw also highlights the opposing ideals of physical body versus spirit. Earnshaw, the formerly philanthropic, loving and open man, is made cold and irritable by his physical weakness. Here, the spirit is corrupted by the body's decline. More often, the novel emphasises a suggestion of the reverse. Catherine's depressed spirit makes her weak and frustrated. Her mentality is reflected in terms of physical deterioration in order to draw attention to her inner psychological destruction. By experimenting with eating disorders, Catherine believed that she is in control of her physical

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