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Compare the portrayal of the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë with that of Nancy and Clancy in ‘The Boy who turned into a Bike’ by Jane Gardham.

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Introduction

Compare the portrayal of the relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bront� with that of Nancy and Clancy in 'The Boy who turned into a Bike' by Jane Gardham. In this essay, I will compare the portrayal of the relationship of Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, a nineteenth century novel by Emily Bront�, with that of 'The Boy who Turned into a Bike', a twentieth century short story by Jane Gardham. The stories have been written in different time periods and for different audiences. The nineteenth century was the more progressive era in terms of literary advances. It involved the development of romanticism and increased appreciation of the natural world. Emily Bront� was born in 1818 and died in 1848 from TB. She was born in Yorkshire, which helps explain her capacity to describe the moors so powerfully and effectively. Bront� was brought up by her aunt, in a bleak parsonage near Bradford with her two sisters, Anne and Charlotte, and her brother, Branwell. Emily Bront� had a difficult life, living in harsh conditions. She wrote under the name of Ellis Bell, which demonstrates the difficulty that women experienced when attempting to carry out their lives, freely and independently from men. Bront�'s understanding of the roles of women in her time, leads her to describe Cathy marrying a man whom she does not love, due to the pressure of her society. Her writing seems to have been her only outlet for her passionate and imaginative personality; it was due to her lifestyle that she was unable to fulfil her need for the passionate love that she so successfully wrote about. ...read more.

Middle

The rocks form the base of the moors and develop from them; they are the 'childhood' of the landscape. Cathy and Heathcliff spend an extensive amount of their childhood playing on the moors and this is where their relationship blossoms and develops. The relationship between Cathy and Heathcliff is based on incredibly strong roots and results in the passionate love that they develop for one another. Cathy's relationship and love with Edgar Linton, is comparatively new, like the foliage on the moors that changes with the weather. In 'The Boy who Turned into a Bike' a very similar conversation takes place between Nancy and Clancy, concerning why Nancy loves her future husband. When asked why, she replies, "He's strong. He's nice. He loves me." Like Cathy's reasons in Wuthering Heights, Nancy's reasons are superficial and can easily change. She is marrying her fianc� because she is impressed with his money and status. Cathy also wants to improve her position in the society of her time and the only way for her to do this, is to marry someone of a more respected status. Throughout both stories it is clear to the reader that, although to different extents, the relationships both have strong, subconscious bonds. In Wuthering Heights Cathy and Heathcliff's bond is incredibly powerful and continues from childhood even through death. This is demonstrated at the beginning of the book, when he calls out for Cathy: "Come in!...Cathy, do come...once more! ...read more.

Conclusion

Nelly Dean is recalling parts and phases of Cathy and Heathcliff's relationship. However, Nelly is a slightly biased narrator and often includes her opinions and views when discussing Cathy and Heathcliff's relationship: "She was much too fond of Heathcliff." It is Nelly's opinion that Cathy is "too fond" of Heathcliff. The word "too" makes the statement an opinion as opposed to the sentence being "she was fond of Heathcliff." This narration effects the portrayal of the relationship and the reader receives a slightly altered view of Cathy and Heathcliff's relationship. 'The Boy who Turned into a Bike', however, is written in the 3rd person and due to the omniscient narrator the reader is able to see the overall picture, which perhaps, may not be the case in Wuthering Heights. Due to being a short story, 'The Boy who Turned into a Bike' uses more concise language: "So silent. No friends. Girls didn't exist. Hardly drank a drop." A substantial amount of detail is given to the reader in a comparatively short space. This can be seen as a device to emphasise quickly and effectively the information that the author is portraying. To conclude, Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights and Nancy and Clancy in 'The Boy who Turned into a Bike' are portrayed as fundamentally different relationships, although there are some striking similarities in the way the plot unfolds. The use of setting and language are, I think, the main factors that make Wuthering Heights the more passionate of the two tragic love stories. Katherine Kearley, June 00. ?? ?? ?? ?? 4 1 ...read more.

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