Literature Project On Wuthering Heights: Critical Analysis On Characterization

Just before the June holidays, our literature group is suppose to hand in the literature project that was given to us weeks ago. Honestly, it was the most frustrating project work that I had ever did this year, so far. We are suppose to find an article on Wuthering Heights and then analyze it (critical works). The article and analysis should be based on either Themes, Style or Characterization. Our group chose Characterization. So, we divided our work and I did my part of the project. I analyze the first part of the article and left the rest for my other group members. Like always, I would like to share with you the project that we did.

Link to the Article

http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/novel_19c/wuthering/psych.html

My Group’s Analysis of the Article


A FREUDIAN INTERPRETATION

Based on the article, it was mentioned that Heathcliff ‘avoids pain.’ There was no evidence to support the description. Heathcliff was an insubordinate boy along with Catherine and if he avoids pain, he would not be so misbehaving. By misbehaving, he actually engenders himself to punishments and thus it induced pain to him. When Heathcliff ran away from Wuthering Heights upon hearing Catherine’s conversation with Nelly Dean, he did not ran away to avoid pain but it is simply because of his ego as he actually came back a few years later to prove Catherine wrong by presenting himself like the people in the upper class. Instead of avoiding pain, Heathcliff was actually capable of enduring pain. For example, when Heathcliff was a boy, he would stand Hindley’s blows without winking or shedding a tear, and Nelly Dean’s pinches moved him only to draw in a breath, and open his eyes as if he had hurt himself by accident. Another example was when Heathcliff was dangerously sick and Nelly Dean had to tend him. Nelly Dean confessed that he was the quietest child that she had ever nursed.

The article mentioned ‘Catherine, the ego…’ It is true as Catherine once said that it would degrade her to marry Heathcliff and she would marry Edgar Linton instead. Edgar Linton ‘represents the rules of proper behaviour and morality inculcated by teachers, family, and society.’ Edgar Linton was not wild and rebellious because of the influence that he got as mentioned in the article. His background, being the people in the upper class, shaped him into such character.

JUNGIAN INTERPRETATIONS

As seen in the Article, Catherine is largely one who was seen as a high-ranking woman of society after she married Edgar Linton, who possessed wealth and position since he was younger. Catherine however, displayed very little connection to proper etiquette and instead plainly uses “natural instincts “to get by. For example, Catherine pinches Nelly when Edgar arrives to see Catherine alone. This entails the idea that Catherine would rather not use proper speech but fowl behaviour. When compared to Heathcliff however, Catherine still harbours more proper speaking capabilities among the inhabitants surrounding the Heights. Catherine could be seen as a mix between two personalities; Heathcliff’s reckless behaviour and dark enigma, and Edgar’s fair appearance and basic etiquette. I agree with the idea that Heathcliff can be seen as Catherine’s “shadow”. “Heathcliff, then, can be seen as Catherine’s shadow–he represents the darkest side of her, with his vindictiveness, his sullenness, his wildness, and his detachment from social connections.” Catherine is stubborn and will do anything to see Heathcliff. From here, we can apply the Jungian Theory that states how one cannot live without the other. “Now to apply Jung’s theory to Catherine, for whom Heathcliff.is the animus, and to Heathcliff, for whom Catherine is the anima.”The Jungian theory uses the quote “I am Heathcliff”to rectify the idea that Catherine and Heathcliff are like two inseperable beings.They are terribly different,but it is in this difference that the philosophy works perfectly.It however does not work when Heathcliff in the book returns 3 years later as a more refined individual.We can obviously notice that Heathcliff still would rather keep to his old habits of rough speaking and cursing,but he had managed to soften over time.This may mean that Catherine still has a sort of “control”over him even if he was far away,as in to maintain that there shall be always a “difference”between them.Even though Heathcliff had managed to become a gentleman,Catherine still loves him for who he was before.Heathcliff has possessed the “darkness”within Catherine that Catherine may never have admitted to, which the Jungian Philosphy states.As such,Catherine can also be called stubborn to even herself,yet still stay selfish.

Wuthering Heights & Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights & Emily Bronte

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One Response to Literature Project On Wuthering Heights: Critical Analysis On Characterization

  1. Pingback: Blogging: 2010 in review | Kathy's Mindspace

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