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Why Would it Degrade Cathy to Marry Heathcliff?

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Why Would it Degrade Cathy to Marry Heathcliff? Emily Bronte's 20th Century novel "Wuthering Heights" portrays the pressured lives of two young lovers forced apart by their up bringing and social differences. The undying passion of Cathy and Heathcliff is the main theme that consumes much of Wuthering Heights. They have an unchanging love, rooted in childhood that is everlasting and that binds them together, even after death. However, both of these characters have many traits that stop them from marrying. Both characters are ambitious and Cathy's social ambitions lead her to marry the rich and powerful Edgar Linton, after her brother reduces Heathcliff to a stable boy. Cathy doesn't want to marry Heathcliff because they will "be beggars" and Cathy's social class would drop. So despite their unending bond of love, Cathy opts to marry Edgar because of the huge gap in social class between him and Heathcliff and is arrogant enough to believe that Edgar will love her enough to allow her to keep Heathcliff as a companion, without complaining. The two seemed like an unlikely couple when Heathcliff was first introduced to the, then young, Cathy, when her father bought him back to the Heights as a gypsy child after a trip away to Liverpool. ...read more.


He demeaned Heathcliff in front of the Linton's and Cathy by referring to him as a servant when he says" like the other servant". Because of Hindley's jealous nature, it is now that we can see one of the most important reasons why it was made impossible for Heathcliff and Cathy to get married. In Cathy's absence, the two characters are driven apart by their obvious differences coming more to light. This is the beginning of the characters, especially Cathy, realising that the thought of marriage was a near ridiculous thing. The differences that had been forced upon them became a major issue. During the time that this novel was written, a woman's ambition did not allow them to be successful businesswomen or follow a career in any thing like what is possible in the world in the 21st century. Instead their only career or destiny was to marry into a rich family and gain status, whether there feelings involved were there or not, if love came along it came with the package, and was not at all necessary and completely lost in most instances. Status was very important; if you were born into a wealthy family, you had to maintain your status and not disgrace the family name. ...read more.


She had to marry some one and the only choice left was the respectable Edgar Linton. Once the union was made under no circumstances could Cathy divorce Edgar. Heathcliff's fleeing also shows why it made it impossible for them to get married. Not only because he was not there to commit to her but because he cleared her path to marrying Edgar on leaving. In my view, if Heathcliff had not left the Heights then Edgar and Cathy would have gotten married anyway. Cathy didn't really have much choice she was to follow her ambitions and not land her family in disgrace. I feel the main reason as to why they did not get married was the social divide that Hindley made between the two. Without Hindley's bitter and jealous attitude the two lovers would have stood a better chance of expressing their love. They would not have had the social problems if Hindley had let Heathcliff be. Neither would have turned vagabond or disobedient and the issue of social hierarchy would not have been looked upon as Heathcliff would have been a gentlemen himself, not a servant. Also if Hindley had not have forced the divide between them they would not have been at the Grange when Cathy got injured, meaning that Cathy would have had no reason to be associated with Edgar at that time signifying that Cathy could have focused entirely on her relationship with Heathcliff. ...read more.

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