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Wuthering heights - Comparison, both inadvertent and direct, between the Linton and Earnshaw families - I am going to focus on the portrayal of these two families in chapter 6 of the novel.

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Introduction

Refer to chapter 6 of Wuthering Heights and comment upon Bronte's presentation of the Earnshaw and Linton households In Emily Bronte's novel, Wuthering heights, published in 1847, there is a great deal of comparison, both inadvertent and direct, between the Linton and Earnshaw families. I am going to focus on the portrayal of these two families in chapter 6 of the novel. The chapter begins with the news of Hindley Earnshaw's new wife, Frances. We learn of this addition to the Earnshaw household upon his return to Wuthering Heights for the occasion of his Father's funeral. Already we have been introduced to the idea of the 'one out one in' theme that seems so popular when the Earnshaw family is involved. The narrator in this chapter is Nelly, and her portrayal of this new wife is somewhat scathing, describing her as 'rather thin', and telling us, 'I thought she was half silly, from her behaviour'. When we are hearing of Frances, we also hear a little about the interior of Wuthering Heights, 'his wife expressed such great pleasure at the white floor and huge glowing fireplace, at the pewter dishes and delf-case, and dog kennel, and the wide space there was to move about in where they usually sat, that he thought it unnecessary to her comfort.' ...read more.

Middle

Nelly, who is in affect, a part of the Earnshaw family, had created the image of the ideal Linton's, in comparison the far from idealistic Earnshaw family, which introduces family rivalry. In Heathcliff's description of Thrushcross Grange, it is described as 'light', and he tells Nelly of how the 'shutters were not put up, and the curtains were only half closed', showing the difference between Wuthering eights and Thrushcross Grange - Wuthering Heights seems to be closed away from the world, where as Thrushcross Grange is open and light. The description of the Grange, 'it was beautiful - a splendid place carpeted with crimson, and crimson covered chairs and tables, and a pure white ceiling bordered by gold, a shower of glass-drops hanging in silver chains from the centre, and shimmering with little soft tapers... We should have thought ourselves in heaven!' Heathcliff chooses his word well, as the description is heavenly. The white and silver are colours of cleanliness and purity - a sharp contrast to the fields and dismal interior of Wuthering heights. The crimson furniture sounds regal, implying that the Lintons are social royalty. Although red is also the symbol of danger and passion- something that we will have to bear in mind as we read on; possibly the house is not the ideal bliss it is portrayed, from the outside, to be. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the last few sentences of Heathcliff's recollection to Nelly, he tells her, 'I saw they were full of stupid admiration; she is so immensely superior to them-to everybody on earth, is she not Nelly?' This is one of my favourite quotes in this chapter; I think it is a fantastic summary of the two families. I believe the Lintons to be a 'stupid' and sheltered family until their association with the Earnshaws. I feel that the admirable wildness of the Earnshaw children is corrupted by the strict prejudice and naivety of the Linton's, and I feel that my thoughts on the two households is absolutely summed up in one single quote. Throughout the novel I have referred to Heathcliff as one of the Earnshaw children, this is not strictly true, and becomes less true as the novel develops. However, I feel that Heathcliff and Cathy develop such a bond that Heathcliff becomes an Earnshaw child when they are young. This is demonstrative of another difference between the two Households. The Earnshaw household accepts new members throughout the book, although Nelly does tell Lockwood, 'We don't in general take to foreigners here, Mr Lockwood, unless they take to us first.' Heathcliff is taken in, Frances, Isabella, and so on, but the Linton household is far less welcoming ironically, despite appearances, as seen with their treatment of Heathcliff when Cathy is injured. 1 ...read more.

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