Essay on Wuthering Heights - Two Women, Two Sides of the Same Coin

Decent Essays

Jordan smith
EGL120 Essay

Student ID: 1051867
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“Identify and discuss various representations of woman in Wuthering Heights”

The depictions of women in Wuthering Heights reveal that despair and happiness are direct outcomes of one’s decision to either be submissive to or oppose patriarchal constructs respectively. Catherine and Cathy II are portrayed as examples of both how giving power to patriarchal demands leads to misery and pain in contrast to how resisting patriarchal demands will lead to hope and joy. Firstly, the underlying theme of freedom illuminates how the women are influenced to make such critical decisions regarding their respective futures. Secondly, the concept of upbringing illustrates how childhood, …show more content…

Catherine views freedom as something unsafe and untameable and following patriarchy as safe and more suitable despite it also constraining her natural ambitions (Garofalo, 2008: 831). Her choice reflects the idea that freedom is undesirable as it dangerously goes beyond social norms and putts her at odds with society (Hanlon, 1996: 506). Giving power to patriarchal demands results in negative outcomes for Catherine’s character – continued conflict with other characters, depression, sickness, in the end, untimely death. Cathy II, who in her childhood had the idea of freedom kept away from her, constantly attempts to resist patriarchal constructs in order to achieve being free. Cathy II is represented as a tough, strong-willed female who opposes what others expect for her, in the way she often uses the word ‘defy’ (REFERENCE), the way she aims to ‘draw pleasure from the grief of her enemies’ (REFERENCE) and how she challenges Heathcliff to be physically violent towards her (REFERENCE). A feminist perspective of the novel notes how Cathy II empowers both herself and the female gender in the way she attempts to escape Wuthering Heights and make her own, independent decisions (Hoeveler, 2000: 212-214). Cathy II’s view of freedom is that it’s a treasure that should be earned, and because she’s been denied it by

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