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Critics suggest that Wuthering Heights is a novel concerned with boundaries. Explore the effect of these boundaries in relation to the relationship of Catherine and Heathcliff.

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Critics suggest that 'Wuthering Heights' is a novel concerned with boundaries. Explore the effect of these boundaries in relation to the relationship of Catherine and Heathcliff. Throughout 'Wuthering Heights', physical and metaphorical boundaries are crucial in communicating Emily Bront�'s moral messages about the position of women in 19th Century society and the barriers separating individuals of different social status. Both of these themes are conveyed by the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff as Catherine is forced to forsake her true love and instead marry Edgar Linton because he is socially acceptable, "And he will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighbourhood, and I shall be proud of having such a husband" and Heathcliff is of lower social standing, "It would degrade [Catherine] to marry Heathcliff". The social barrier between Heathcliff and Catherine manifests itself in a myriad of ways during the novel and is eventually broken by Hareton and Cathy- the new generation of residents on the moors. ...read more.


element of 'love at first sight' as such a clich�d idea would demean the love which Bront� crafts to be as 'eternal as the rocks beneath'. Bront� conveys how even the most powerful of love can be repressed by the restraints of society by separating Catherine and Heathcliff in both physical and metaphorical senses, Bront� utilises windows as as a barrier which neither Heathcliff nor Catherine can penetrate; Heathcliff can only look on lovingly as Catherine socialises with the bourgeois class in Thrushcross Grange, and Catherine is unable to escape from the same building when she longs to be out on the moors with Heathcliff. The idea that the boundaries of society are broken by the love of Hareton and Cathy is corroborated by the fact that when Lockwood revisits Wuthering Heights at the conclusion of the novel "both doors and lattices were open"; furthermore, when Cathy is imprisoned there by Heathcliff she is able to escape through her mother's bedroom window, an act which her mother was unable to undertake- fittingly because the bourgeois (Edgar Linton) ...read more.


can only be hindered in a physical sense- even in death Catherine and Heathcliff are more unified than Catherine and Edgar ever were. The boundaries surrounding Heathcliff and Catherine are vastly important as both a plot device and as a tool with which Bront� conveys her moral messages about prejudice and segregation in the patriarchal British society she lived in. Bront� uses windows as a metaphor for the way women and individuals of lower social hierarchy could only gaze upon the luxuries and rights afforded to those more privileged than themselves; these windows also symbolise the tragic nature of Catherine and Heathcliff's love- the fact they are ultimately the same person but are physically unable to coexist as a result of the boundaries imposed on them by the conventionality and protocol which permeated their lives. However, the new generation at Wuthering Heights is able to destroy these conventions and convey Bront�'s idea that the barriers of prejudice and discrimination can be broken by bravery and determination- a concept which was soon to be validated after Bront�'s tragic death. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This is a fluently written essay which could have been excellent if it had focussed more on the text. It makes some valid points but does not always back these with relevant textual evidence and analysis. The argument could have been explored in more depth if a distinction had been made between WH and TG. A consideration of the moors might be useful too.

Marked by teacher Roz Shipway 30/11/2013

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