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Pairs in Wuthering Heights Essay


By reading the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, I can see that Bronte organizes her novel by putting its element like characters, and places into pairs. Catherine and Heathcliff are closely matched in any ways, and see themselves as identical. Catherines character is divided into warring sides. For instance, the side that wants Edgar and the sides that wants Heathcliff. Catherine and young Catherine are both similar and different. The two houses, Wuthering Heigths and Trushcross Grange represent opposing worlds and values. The novel has not one but two distinctly different narrators, Nelly and Mr. Lockwood. Moreover, Bronte uses ghosts as a symbol in the novel. Ghosts appear throughout Wuthering Heights, Bronte always presents them in such a way that whether they really exist remains ambiguous. Certain ghosts such as Catherines spirit when it appears to Lockwood in chapter III may be explained as nightmares. The villagers claimed sighting of Heathcliffs ghost in chapter XXXIV could be dismissed as unverified superstition. Whether or not the ghost are real they symbolize the manifestations of the past within the present, and the memory stays with people permeating day-to-day lives.

Unlike most Gothic romances, Wuthering Heights does not build to an intense, violent climax before its ending; rather, its tension quietly unravels as the inner conflict within Heathcliff gradually dissipates, his love for Catherine eroding his lust for revenge. Although the novels happy ending is not possible until Heathcliffs death, his influence has become an ever less menacing one in the preceding days, and thus his demise does not constitute a dramatic reversal of the books trends. As time passes, Heathcliff becomes increasingly obsessed with his dead love, and he finds reminders of her everywhere. He begins conversing with her ghost, and, after his climactic night on the moors a night that we do not see or hear anything about, because Nelly was not there a strange cheer comes over him, a happy premonition of his own impending death. Because he rejects all religious notions of the afterlife, Heathcliff does not fear death. Although the text frequently likens him to the Devil, he does not believe in Hell, and his forced religious education as a child has caused him to deny the existence of Heaven. His lack of religious belief leads him to refuse to allow Nelly to Christianize his death by calling for a priest. Rather, for Heathcliff, the end of life can mean only one thing: the beginning of his reunion with Catherine.

As Heathcliff anticipates a union in the afterlife, young Catherine and Hareton look forward to a shared life. Their love for one another seems not only to secure happiness for the future, but also to redeem the miseries of the past. When young Catherine regrets aloud her mockeries of Hareton, she redeems not only her own past sins, but those of her mother, who behaved similarly toward Heathcliff though without remorse. For his part, Hareton represents a final renewal for the manor of Wuthering Heights. He stands poised to inherit the estate, where his name is carved over the entrance, inscribed there by an earlier Hareton over three centuries before. Haretons appropriation of the manor will signify the end of one cycle and the beginning of another, his very name marking the entry into a new era for Wuthering Heights. Finally, Catherine and Hareton together, as a unit, represent a resolution of past troubles. Together, they seem to manifest all of the best qualities of their parents and merge the various conflicting aspects of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange into a stronger whole. In essence, they embody the strength and passion of Wuthering Heights without its doomed intensity, and the civility and kindness of Thrushcross Grange without its cowardly snobbishness. Joined through their loving bond, the two estates will constitute a haven of warmth, hope, and joy.

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