Love and Illlness in Wuthering Heights

Two months ago, my school conducted an E-learning exercise, whereby students are required to stay at home to have their lessons and do their assignments online. My Literature teacher gave me an assignment on Wuthering Heights. I would like to share my work especially to those who are interested. I am still a student, so my work will be imperfect.

Objectives:

1) understand the Victorian notion of love and illness

2) analyse how love is presented in the novel: Wuthering Heights

3) analyse the role of illness in the novel: Wuthering Heights

S/N Victorian notion of love How is this notion seen in the novel?
A single girl was never allowed out of the house by herself, especially in mixed company. Catherine always went out with Heathcliff and she was known as a naughty girl.
Marriage was encouraged only within one’s class. To aspire higher, one was considered an upstart. To marry someone of lesser social standing was considered marrying beneath oneself. Catherine said to Nelly Dean that it would degrade her to marry Heathcliff. Heathcliff overheard them talking and left Wuthering Heights for years.
Many marriages were considered a business deal, few started with love. Although as the years passed, many couples grew tolerably fond of each other, often resulting in a bond almost as deep as love. Catherine married Edgar. However, she loved Heathcliff more. She learn to live with Edgar after years of their marriage and Heathcliff’s disappearance.
S/N Illness in Victorian age How is this reflected in the novel?
Diphtheria and scarlet fever, measles is easily treated by modern drugs today, but in Victorian times they were all serious illnesses and could even die from them. Most characters in Wuthering Heights died at a young age.
Health was a big challenge in the 19th century since very few people knew the causes of disease, and medicine involved a lot of guesswork.

Victorians typically had a strong faith in God, which allowed them to courageously face both illness and death.

Mr Kenneth had trouble pronouncing the cause of Heathcliff’s death.

Joseph was a religious person. When Catherine’s father died and Nelly Dean and the children wailed, Joseph asked what they could be thinking of to roar in that way over a saint in heaven.

Early doctors could not operate, and most medicine of the early 1800s was of little, or no help. When Catherine was sick, the doctor did not provide much help.
URLs

http://www.literacycommunity.com/grade3/pioneercontent/treatments.html

http://history.powys.org.uk/school1/presteigne/sickness.shtml

http://www.literary-liaisons.com/article009.html

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2 Responses to Love and Illlness in Wuthering Heights

  1. asahjaya says:

    Nice, very good. There’s only one part of the sentences that to me doesn’t feel quite right. The words. “they were all serious illnesses and could even die from them” will be better off with, “they were all serious illnesses that the sufferers could eventually end in death.”

  2. niamh says:

    Your insights to the novel are really interesting and helpful. I’m studying English lit, and my topic is wuthering heights, thanks for the help!

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