Essay about Social Classes in Wuthering Heights

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Social Classes in Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights, a gothic novel written by Emily Bronte in the early nineteenth century, describes the conflict and the passionate bond between Catherine Earnshaw and her rough but romantic lover,
Heathcliff. In the beginning of the book, Heathcliff, an orphan is made a part of the Earnshaw family. This adoption is not readily accepted by the older brother, Hindley, who sees the new child as a rival to his claim of dominance in the family. However, Catherine, the sister is quickly attracted to young Heathcliff, so different from anyone she had ever known. As the two grow older, Heathcliff finds himself falling in love with Catherine. Mr. Earnshaw soon dies, leaving Hindley in charge of the …show more content…

Heathcliff is so desperate for acceptance that he is willing to cheat people to gain the property he craves. By doing so he hopes to show
Catherine that he is worthy of her, a landowner in his own right.
After Catherine accepts Edgar's proposal, she seeks out Nelly and tells here that "[I]t would degrade [her] to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how [she] love[s] him; and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more [herself] than [she] [is].
Whatever [their] souls are made of, his and [hers] are the same, and
Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire." (Page 74, lines 29 - 33). Heathcliff overhears this conversation between Nelly and Catherine and leaves Wuthering Heights after hearing Catherine say that it would degrade her to marry him.
Heathcliff tries to make himself more presentable to Catherine by moving up the social system. However, he does this by cheating and taking advantage of people. Heathcliff takes advantage of Hindley's state of alcoholism and takes over Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff also takes advantage of Edgar Linton's will my making young Catherine (the daughter of Catherine Earnshaw and Edgar Linton) marry Linton (the son of Heathcliff and Isabella Linton) so he could acquire Thrushcross
Grange (where Edgar Linton lives).

Bronte seems to have mixed opinions of the lower class by characterizing Heathcliff positively and negatively. Lockwood,

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