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Wuthering Heights - Analysis of pages 146-7

Uploaded by Spudgirl on Nov 07, 2001

Heathcliff, determined to see Catherine, vows not to leave her to Edgar's 'duty and humanity'. His scorn at these words reflects the opposing temperaments of the inhabitants of the two houses, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. The former is an untamed world of deep passions and visceral emotions, while the cultivated Thrushcross Grange temperament is characteristically languid and conventional.

Nelly is of neither a Wuthering Heights nor a Thrushcross Grange temperament. Her normality in comparison to the other characters provides us with the perspective of an ordinary person on the ensuing conflict between the two sensibilities. She is adamant in her refusal to Heathcliff upon his request to see Catherine. Nelly believes that Catherine, torn between the two worlds, will 'never be like she was', as her 'character' has 'changed greatly'.

Heathcliff is exemplary of the wild Wuthering Heights temperament, 'forcing himself to stay calm'. His comment that Edgar has 'nothing but a common humanity and a sense of duty to fall back upon' suggests that Linton's love for Catherine is vapid in comparison to his own. Such Thrushcross Grange values are scornfully rejected by Heathcliff, uttering them with a tone of contempt. In his opinion Catherine does not want these things. Heathcliff finds it incomprehensible that his love should be compared to Edgar's. His determination to see Catherine is illustrated by his forceful comment, 'I WILL see her!' which is by no means a request, but a statement of strong intention, based on a strong mind.

Nelly repeats her steadfast refusal to admit Heathcliff, and he retaliates, saying he would 'be justified in going to extremes'. This further brings out his violent Wuthering Heights temperament, as does his comment earlier in the noevl, that he 'might have the priviledge of flinging Joseph from the highest gable, and painting the house-front red with Hindley's blood!'

Heathcliff continues in passage two, telling Nelly that he is so secure in his visceral relationship with Cathy, so sure in her love, that if he were his husband, he would let Edgar see her. Heathcliff believes he has more concern for Catherine than Edgar does, because he would be prepared to tolerate her having a friend.

Of course, notes Heathcliff, if Cathy's regard for Edgar ceased, he 'would have torn his heart out and drunk his blood!' Such graphic images reflect the gothic element of the Wuthering Heights temperament, to complement the violence.

Nelly's relative status of an...

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Uploaded by:   Spudgirl

Date:   11/07/2001

Category:   Wuthering Heights

Length:   3 pages (726 words)

Views:   2279

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