• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the presentation of Heathcliffs journey in Wuthering Heights, in the light of the Marxist Perspective.

Extracts from this document...


Explore the presentation of Heathcliff's journey in Wuthering Heights, in the light of the Marxist Perspective. In Wuthering Heights, Bront� show's Marxist view's that 'it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness'. Bront? first published her text in the form of a novel in 1847. During this time England was influenced by Marx's ideas, socialists in England held a conference in London where they formed a new organisation called the Communist League, the aims of the organisation being to overthrow the old bourgeois society based on class antagonisms and to the establish a new society without classes and without private property. Despite England being influenced by Marx ideas at the time, Bront? created Wuthering Heights: a mix genre novel with themes such as domestic realism, tragedy and gothic love, which were very much open to critic and discussion at the time. This shows the extent to how she was much stipulated in her ideas and therefore Wuthering Heights might not have been influenced by the Marxist ideas at the time. When Heathcliff enters in chapter four with no social or domestic status, emphasised by his 'gibberish that nobody could understand' suggesting his lack of social skills and ability to communicate; his lingual acquisition depends on his surroundings. ...read more.


Heathcliff is a gypsy and by 'putting up the shutters', 'curtains half closed' while Heathcliff's looking through the window panes shows how the barriers symbolise Bront� presenting the strict Victorian Society which denies Heathcliff's access to culture and education. Trushcross Grange becomes somewhat of a Victorian society's ideal, a materialistic ideal. Catherine's awareness of her social existence results in her new perception that she cannot marry Heathcliff because: 'if Heathcliff and I married, we should be beggars' Even though he is her authentic love and she hints at Heathcliff and her being inseparable she does not follow through. She has already chosen to marry Edgar; and so the novel can be read from a Marxist perspective as Catherine's outlook in marrying Edgar is materialist as she thinks about social reasons and survival, as opposed to the idealistic perspective. Bront� shows how Catherine is affected my material circumstances reflected when she says she will be "queen of the neighbourhood" and does not chose Heathcliff, who can be seen as a symbol of her freedom. However, it can be argued that she never has a choice between the two as the way she is set to think is largely conditioned by the way the economy is organised. Bront? presents through the novel how this economy determines the superstructure and therefore even though Heathcliff stands for Catherine's freedom it is Victorian society's ...read more.


Bronte had suggested Heathcliff's 'good' characteristics when he was silent as a lamb (connotations) and the other children were ill. We realise that the behaviour is cyclical: Heathcliff's poor treatment of Hareton is an outcome of his own poor treatment. Heathcliff does eventually gain power over Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights by rebelling against Victorian Society's system; this could be seen as Heathcliff having freewill despite his social existence. However, even after gaining power, it becomes something destructive and ultimately leads to a tragic end. This is a result of his rejection from Victorian Society, making him suppressed. His rejection is a reflection of Victorian Societies rejection of him as a character, because at the time people were unable to understand Heathcliff because his cruelty and ungoverned love was thought of as inappropriate and the novel was perceived as unreligious. Unlike then, now the gothic love and exploration of class in Wuthering Heights and its passionate characters (mainly Heathcliff) are much more accepted and understood. It can be argued that Heathcliff is never given the opportunity, again due to the base structure, making him almost the antithesis to the Victorian superstructure. So, even after gaining economic power, due to his social existence he remains unhappy and the repercussions are tragic. This suggests that his past is still determining his actions; Heathcliff therefore does not have 'freewill' because his consciousness is determined by his social existence. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Emily Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Emily Bronte essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critics suggest that Wuthering Heights is a novel concerned with boundaries. Explore the effect ...

    3 star(s)

    contrasting, yet so fitting, is another aspect of their relationship which is vastly unconventional and a barrier which is broken by Bront� having an attractive woman of high social background fall in love with a "dark-skinned gypsy" of unknown provenance- here Bront� is conveying her ideas that the barriers interposed

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The Gothic Elements of Wuthering Heights

    3 star(s)

    shocked into one of the most violent acts of the novel; as Catherines child-ghost clings to him he rubs her wrists on the broken windowpane 'till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes.'

  1. Peer reviewed

    Wuthering Heights. The narrative tale tells the story of the all-encompassing and passionate, yet ...

    3 star(s)

    The jealousy Hindley had for Heathcliff also played a big part in the revenge Hindley took against Heathcliif as the jealousy made Hindley hate Heathcliff to the limit and wanted to get back at him in a cruel and tyrannical way.

  2. Commentary on "I am the only being whose doom" by Emily Bronte

    The poem does not mention any cheerful, happy emotions. Only "dark", unwanted emotions are portrayed. Some emotions are originally delightful (e.g. "A smile of joy"), but they have "melted off" already and become vague behind the veil of gloom. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, following a strict rhyme scheme (ABAB), with 8 syllables per line.

  1. Assess the ways in which Bronte establishes the mood of the novel and the ...

    Catherine is Heathcliff's sun and he craves her. The 'gaunt thorns' also suggest the dilapidation of the surroundings that Wuthering Heights remains in. In contrast Thrushcross Grange is associated with its tenant Lockwood who appears to be a much more reasonable man than Heathcliff.

  2. The position of the female in 19th Century English society was of key import ...

    'love' for Edgar is a superficial one which is forced on her by the demands of the society she lives in. This assessment of the situation is corroborated by Cathy's assertion that "if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn't have thought of it.

  1. Outsiders and Outcasts in "Wuthering Heights"

    how Heathcliff does not belong in the civilised environment of Wuthering Heights. A Marxist critic would understand Heathcliff?s? lack of defined place within the social and economic structure of Wuthering Heights makes him Cathy?s natural companion. She, as the daughter ?who does not expect to inherit?, is the least economically

  2. Is Catherine Earnshaw a Typical Victorian Woman or a Modern Woman?

    From this, women gained more independence in all spheres of life outside the domestic one which they had been confined too previously. They were now entitled to equal pay, professional job opportunities, the right to vote and education. Overall, the result was increased power for women.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work