Critical Theory in Wuthering Heights

1443 Words Feb 25th, 2012 6 Pages
In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, readers are introduced to a variety of conflicts and clashing characteristics. Even though this is common in many novels, many of these conflicts take place within one character then progress into external conflicts between characters. For example what caused Catherine to pick Edgar over Heathcliff? Did she love Edgar more? Or was her love for him forged by her superego as defined in Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams? Even the character herself is unsure of her true desires, which leads to the major conflicts within her, others, and between characters. This is just one of the numerous examples of issues which ensue throughout the course of this novel. In order to properly analyze the …show more content…
That will do to explain my secret, as well as the other. I've no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn't have thought of it.” (Bronte 329)
This is an excellent example of Catherine’s unconscious exposing itself through her dreams. This dream shows that she knows that she has no right to marry Edgar, who is approximated with heaven, while, at the same time, showing that her true home is at Wuthering Heights, with Heathcliff. In a way, her unconscious was telling her that she belongs with Heathcliff, yet she chose to ignore it. She picked Edgar mostly based on his power and money, which was the most important thing to her at this point. The unconscious is never directly shown but tends to be seen in passive aggressive behavior. In Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff was pretty much always the bottom of the totem pole. This seems to be the main motive of his revenge. There is a possibility that Heathcliff is suffering from a strange form of Oedipus Complex, because after Mr. Earnshaw died, Hindley seemed to take over the role as male caretaker (even though he never really cared for Heathcliff) which seemed to in a sense, harbor Heathcliff’s hatred and desire to remove Hindley from this role so he could take over as head of the household as well as claim Catherine as his own. However, his low standings make it

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