Women in Wuthering Heights
‘Ladies are portrayed as harmful creatures that are set on ruining the masculine world they are caught in’. Go over. In Emily Bronte’s classic novel ‘Wuthering Heights’, the lead female characters; Catherine and Isabella, remain in lots of circumstances depicted as harsh, partly helpless prisoners to whomever’s business they’re among.
Nevertheless, we may argue that, due to such entrapment, Bronte presents these strong women as spiteful and ‘malevolent’ with the intent of showing the strain ladies had for any type of power in a male dominated period, triggering them to maybe develop problems for the male characters and act atrociously, yet this might not be with the purpose of destroying ‘the manly world’.
We as readers are foremost presented to the females’ thrive for power and supremacy early on in the novel when Catherine ‘picked a whip’ as a gift for her father to purchase her in Liverpool– a symbol of power and control. In spite of this, her father returns not with a whip for young Catherine but a “motherless gypsy”, Heathcliff, whom may now be interpreted as having actually metaphorically replaced the whip, ending up being a submissive item Catherine can sadistically manifest her repressive dominant nature into.
Not only does this program Elizabethan women’s desperation to gain power, however likewise the Elizabethan social ladder– viewing as Heathcliff is regarded as ‘dark skinned’ speeding up the suspicion he is a ‘bastard kid’ to Mr Earnshaw, Catherine has a perhaps higher social status than Heathcliff, leading her to seize her only chance of providing power. The reader is more proffered with an obstacle to the stereotypical lady in chapter 9 as Catherine appears to be knowledgeable about her only kind of power– deciding whom to marry.
After thinking about the social status of her cherished ‘soul’ Heathcliff, she informs Nelly ‘that if Heathcliff and I wed, we should be beggars? Whereas if I marry Linton I can aid Heathcliff to increase, and place him out of my sibling’s power.’ From this we as readers comprehend that here, Catherine is not set on ruining Mr. Linton’s and Heathcliff’s world, however thinking of what is materialistically best for her by marrying Edgar in a male dominant world and hoping this will upheave Heathcliff’s social position also. Likewise the desire for female power can be seen in Isabella.
One may argue that perhaps she is set on damaging the manly world as she brings Edgar a “new source of problem” by planning to elope with Heathcliff, arch bane of Edgar. However, her idea of love and flexibility with Heathcliff is proven to be an error as she notifies Nelly by letter that she” [has] been a fool.” In fact, we might further argue that perhaps Heathcliff has destroyed the felinity in Isabella as she is described as having a ‘wan and lustless’ face and ‘her hair uncurled; some locks hanging lankly down’.
From this we witness how the previous prim and appropriate Isabella appears to have disappeared as Heathcliff has actually dragged down all effort she utilized to make, perhaps due to her aggravation and absence of freedom. This is reiterated again when she mentions ‘I’m not going to act the woman among you’. From this we as readers may analyze that the masculine world she populates with Heathcliff is not what she plans to ruin as she starts to adapt to it at this point due to having no other choice– her marital relationship to Heathcliff is now a law contract that she as a woman has no right to break.