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Comparison of Heroines in Wuthering Heights and The Great Gatsby Essay


Comparison of Heroines in Wuthering Hieghts and the Great Gatsby


comparison of heroines in wuthering hieghts and the great gatsby

Comparison of the presentation of the heroines in F. Scott Fitzgerald's

'TheGreat Gatsby' and Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights'

Introduction to 'The Great Gatsby'

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote 'The Great Gatsby'. He presents us with many characters, one of which is quite complex, Daisy Buchanan. She is stuck in a love triangle, with the affairs brings tension and envy to an unexpected ending to the novel

Introduction to 'Wuthering Heights'

Emily Bronte wrote 'Wuthering Heights'. It tells a story of a young woman's love for two men, Heathcliff and Edgar Linton. Through their love of such truth, imagination and emotional intensity leads us to the heroine's tragedy.

How the heroines are first introduced

Nick's (the narrator) 'second cousin once removed' this shows that Nick's has a closely-knit family so Daisy is seen as a distant relative. Nick tells us that he 'drove over to East Egg to see two old friends whom I scarcely knew at all' In 'The Great Gatsby' the houses are symbolic of the people that live there as we see with the Buchanan's house. We can tell a lot about Daisy's character through her house in which she lives in with her husband Tom Buchanan. Their house is described in very great detail 'a red-and-white Georgian colonial mansion' this shows that they are old money, old fashioned people it had Italian gardens with sundials and bright vines. The house had French windows 'now with reflected gold' the fact that Fitzgerald has chosen this colour gold gives Daisy a sense of wealth about her as well as her lavish setting.

Emily Bronte first introduces 'Wuthering Heights' heroine, Catherine, in the same way as Daisy, we hear about these women before we see them. We are first introduced to Catherine when there is a blizzard becomes worse when Lockwood was visiting his landlord, Heathcliff, and he has to stay the night at Wuthering Heights and with out knowing it he stays in a secret room of the house. This used to be Catherine's room; Lockwood notices the name Catherine with many surnames attached: Catherine Earnshaw, Catherine Linton and Catherine Heathcliff. Here Bronte presenting the heroine as a young woman who is trying to choose between these men of whom she should marry. This is also a parallel to 'The Great Gatsby' between Daisy, Tom and and Gatsby but only Daisy is married to Tom but feel for materialistic reasons that she wants to be with Gatsby. We do not yet know if this Catherine is still alive, still a child or a grown woman. In Chapter 5, Nelly Dean gives us a description of what Catherine was like as a child 'A wild, wick slip she was - but she had the bonniest eye, and the sweetest smile, and the lightest foot in the parish' this illustrates the fact that Catherine was beautiful and full of life from she was a young age.

Like the 'The Great Gatsby' Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange both represent the characters that are staying there. From its descriptions, 'Above the chimney Wuthering Heights appears to be a cold, dark and stormy place. When Catherine has to leave Wuthering Heights because she is sick, she goes to Thrushcross Grange, this place is depicted to be much calmer, lighter, and warmer than the cold exposed house on the moors. Nelly tells us that when she came back from her short stay at Thrushcross Grange, that she was a transformed lady. This shows the influence that these different houses have on the characters. Also Wuthering Heights had an effective change on Lockwood when he stayed there by the dreams and hallucinations.


Personal appearance - Fitzgerald gives us a description of Daisy 'her face was sad and lovely with bright things in it'. This show that she is obviously attractive, and is confirmed when Jordan tells us that she was 'most popular of all the young girls'. Catherine is also beautiful even when she has died and was buried a few years later Heathcliff went back to see her, but dug up her grave. You would expect to find a decomposed body but instead she is still as she was the minute she was buried.

Throughout 'The Great Gatsby' Daisy is always described as wearing white, 'They were both in white, and their dresses were rippling and fluttering' apart from one occasion when she is wearing a lavender hat. The characterisation of this colour in particular portrays her in a sweet and innocent light. It also is a colour of purity but later on in the novel she is we are told that she is smoking which contrasts with her pure, innocent character. There are other times when she is wearing different colours when she goes to meets with Gatsby she is described as wearing a metallic colours 'she wore a suit going to Gatsby's house with brass buttons' this again shows her wealth and is also emphasised when Gatsby says 'her voice is full of money' and another time she is described as wearing a lavender hat.

Emily Bronte gives us in chapter three what seems to be a ghost of a child, this section gets allot of critical attention whether or not this actually happened, if it was a hallucination or a dream. Lockwood could not sleep because of what he thought was a branch tapping at the window, he could not get the window open and so smashed the window when he put his hand out his 'fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand' the child tells us that her name is Catherine Linton and that she wants back in because she has been lost in the moors and she wishes to return after 20 years. But why is she introduced as Catherine Linton when there were more markings of Catherine Heathcliff? Emily Bronte is making us think of the past life of Catherine, did she get married to Linton? Why does she want back to the place where Heathcliff is? In comparison to ''The Great Gatsby' the parallel to the way that Daisy used to have Gatsby and then she left him and now she wants him back again just like Catherine wants back in to Wuthering Heights again after all these years.. The way in which Bronte has written this part makes it seem as though it is really happening to him, but it couldn't possibly be because Lockwood smashed the window because he could not get it open but when Heathcliff came in the window was not smashed and Heathcliff opened it with ease. There is a time that we hear of a description of Catherine's appearance when she is lying on her bed dying and she is wearing a white dress, like Daisy. These two women seem alike here because Catherine is on her death bed and is practically lifeless and needs to be looked after whereas Daisy, although not at death's door, is helpless and needs looking after, maybe not needs but wants to be looked after, they both become dependant on their loved ones at this time.

Behaviour - in our first meeting with Daisy she is described as sitting as though tied to a balloon. This floating metaphor suggests that Daisy has no direction in life, like a balloon, whatever wind goes the balloon goes along with it. This is reflected in Daisy's character by her disorganisation. She even says 'what'll we plan, how do people plan"' and the floating in and out of conversations, from candles to the longest day of the year in a matter of seconds. She and Tom living in France for a year, not to fight in the war but to follow the sport of polo, also mirrors this floating along whatever way life goes image. Daisy and Tom go to places where people are rich together. Compared to Catherine in Wuthering Heights she appears to be more of a grounded character she knows how things should be, for example, that she wants her and Heathcliff to be together not only on earth but in heaven to. Even as a child she is the same, wants a whip for her horse, shows she has control unlike Daisy who wants everything done for her.

Fitzgerald also presents Daisy as a non-maternal mother to her daughter. We never hear that she has a child we are not shown her nor told her name. All the information we get is about the birth and it was all about Daisy 'I wake up', 'I turned', and there is no emotional attachment to the child. She refers to the child as 'the baby' and later on we find that the child is 3 years old 'And I hope she'll be a fool - that's the best thing a girl in this world today, a beautiful little fool' but here she is talking about herself showing again that she is self-absorbed. Catherine of 'Wuthering Heights' also has a daughter but Catherine never gets to be a mother to her as she died when her daughter called Catherine was born.

Although Daisy has a husband she enjoys the attention from other men. In doing so she does not talk, she whispers. She does this to have men attentive in listening to her. When she talks to men she can be very flirtatious like when she said to Nick 'you remind me a rose, an absolute rose' she does this to make her husband, Tom, jealous and to make him appreciate her more. We don't see Catherine doing this, she knows that she has two men that love her dearly and she is able to pick and choose because the both of them will always want her.

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