Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte

902 WordsMar 8, 20154 Pages
Primogeniture in 18th and 19th century England stemmed from the patriarchal structure within society and families. Married women did not have status outside that of their husbands. Husbands had legal and domestic agency over their wives and their household. Women were expected to submit to their husband’s wishes, and could not vote, own or control property. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë examines these elements of 18th and 19th century English society with examples of relationships in which women were treated as the property of men, and how as a result, women were denied the legal status to own and have agency over property. Edgar and Heathcliff were both patriarchal characters. Both men attempted to physically and emotionally control their wives by confining them to their homes, and restricting the expression of their emotions. While they stripped Catherine and Isabella of their identities in differing ways, the end result ended up very much the same. Catherine was unhappy during the first several months of her marriage to Edgar. Nelly compared Catherine to a thorn, before telling Lockwood that “I observed that Mr. Edgar had a deep-rooted fear of ruffling her humour” (Brontë 95). Such a fear of upsetting someone would not be necessary if they were happy. She went on to say that Catherine had experienced periods of “gloom and silence”, which Edgar attributed to her pregnancy (Brontë 96). Catherine’s mood did not shift until Heathcliff’s unexpected return from his

More about Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte

Open Document