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

Social Classes in Wuthering Heights.

Extracts from this document...


Social Classes in Wuthering Heights Wuthering Heights, a gothic novel written by Emily Bronte in the early nineteenth century, describes the conflict and the passionate bond between Catherine Earnshaw and her rough but romantic lover, Heathcliff. In the beginning of the book, Heathcliff, an orphan is made a part of the Earnshaw family. This adoption is not readily accepted by the older brother, Hindley, who sees the new child as a rival to his claim of dominance in the family. However, Catherine, the sister is quickly attracted to young Heathcliff, so different from anyone she had ever known. As the two grow older, Heathcliff finds himself falling in love with Catherine. Mr. Earnshaw soon dies, leaving Hindley in charge of the Wuthering Heights manor. Hindley treats Heathcliff abusively as revenge for taking his spot in the family. Heathcliff accidentally overhears a conversation between Catherine and Nelly (the maid) where Catherine says that it would degrade her to marry Heathcliff. After hearing this, Heathcliff strives to make himself more acceptable to Catherine by moving up in the social system. ...read more.


However, he does this by cheating and taking advantage of people. Heathcliff takes advantage of Hindley's state of alcoholism and takes over Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff also takes advantage of Edgar Linton's will my making young Catherine (the daughter of Catherine Earnshaw and Edgar Linton) marry Linton (the son of Heathcliff and Isabella Linton) so he could acquire Thrushcross Grange (where Edgar Linton lives). Bronte seems to have mixed opinions of the lower class by characterizing Heathcliff positively and negatively. Lockwood, the narrator of the novel, describes Heathcliff as "...a dark-skinned gipsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman, that is, as much a gentleman as many a country squire: rather slovenly, perhaps, yet not looking amiss with his negligence, because he has an erect and handsome figure-and rather morose." (page 3, lines 24 - 28). Lockwood ponders what Heathcliff is, whether he is a gentleman or a gipsy, whether he is of importance. Heathcliff, crazed with grief, visits Catherine's grave 18 years after she has passed on. ...read more.


She wants the characters of Catherine and Heathcliff to come together without these constraints on their love. She shows that England's rigid and highly structured class system is not the right answer to society. In the end, Heathcliff's story ends tragically. He gains the wealth needed to achieve social standing, but in so doing he destroys himself and his family, including Catherine's daughter whose own happiness he disregards. Instead of the love that he wanted so much, he finds that others now fear him and his anger. Bronte again is telling the readers a moral lesson, to follow the heart and one's deepest desires, ignoring what society tells you is the only 'right' way to lead your life. Only in death can Heathcliff and Catherine be free again as when they were children, to love one another no matter what others think of them. She suggests that in death they have at last freed themselves from society's restrictions, and can finally be together again, walking along the moors, as they did when they were children, and ignorant of the unspoken 'rules' which would keep them apart in life. Katie Nagy Wuthering Heights paper May 27 2003 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE 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 GCSE Emily Bronte essays

  1. In chapter 15 Nelly says "Far better that she should be dead than lingering ...

    Nelly; the narrator in this novel, seems perfect since she is a very close member of the family so should have a very detailed version of the plot. However in Nelly's tiered narration the reader should notice that she has formed opinions and relationships with the characters.


    Isabella realises this and knows their marriage is doomed: "She slipped the gold ring from her third finger, and threw it on the floor. 'I'll smash it!' she continued, striking with childish spite. 'And then I'll burn it!' And she took and dropped the misused article among the coals."

  1. For all his Byronic / Gothic excesses, Heathcliff exists and steps out of the ...

    by Heathcliff: "My amiable lady' he interrupted with an almost diabolical sneer on his face" (4) Heathcliff is quite rude to Lockwood, and we can come to the conclusion that he was one who was not brought up with any manners.

  2. In the earth, the earth thou shalt be laid... and answer the following questions

    It suggests death is a time when you and the environment come together as one. The twining of "sunny hair" with "grass-roots" suggests the intricate weaving of one life-from with another. The burial of fair hair takes down an implication of sunlight into the underlying darkness.

  1. Do you agree that Wuthering Heights repeatedly offers moral judgements and condemnations of Heathcliff?

    Especially as we take into account that she is talking with hindsight and we realise that she could have mentioned that she was wrong in her view of him, as she does not we can only conclude that she never changed her opinion of Heathcliff, which is undoubtedly shown by

  2. How Has Emily Bronte Captured Your Interest?

    She had been shut out from Wuthering Heights for ten years. Now she had returned as the past to haunt those living at the Heights with a feeling of unrest and discontent. If she was to dwell in misery for the rest of eternity, then she would make sure the others would join her- (selfish nature).

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