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The symbiotic relationship of Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff in Emily Brontes Wuthering Heights
2001 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Death for many is the ultimate end of life’s joy and sorrow, and although traditionalChristianity offers hope of salvation and life after death, this salvation occurs under terms determined by God, requiring self-sacrificing love, self-effacement and self-denial. Because Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff’s love is greedy, hard and proud, the protagonists of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights do not expect a blessed unity in death in the traditional sense. Instead, they create a personal form of spirituality as a means of coping psychologically with their lives. I agree with Margaret Lenta that “the novel’s main subject, from which all other events radiate, is the love between Heathcliff and Catherine” (67). Since social convention impedes their physical union in life, they are led to believe that they may only find unity in death. The passion that ultimately consumes Catherine and Heathcliff fuels their longing for eternal union after death. However, to be able to understand the reason for their ‘death wish’ we must first understand the nature of their relationship as well as the barriers that interfere with its realization. These barriers, which are primarily of a social nature, hinder them from uniting physically during their lives and cause psychological pain and suffering. In this essay, I intend to explore the symbiotic nature of the Catherine-Heathcliff relationship as well as the reasons for its development. I will then examine the barriers that interfere with the lovers’ desired physical unification, the psychological and physical reactions these barriers cause, and finally, the ultimate result of the barriers – Catherine and Heathcliff’s wish to be unified in death.

Abstract [en]

Death for many is the ultimate end of life’s joy and sorrow, and although traditional Christianity offers hope of salvation and life after death, this salvation occurs under terms determined by God, requiring self-sacrificing love, self-effacement and self-denial. Because Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff’s love is greedy, hard and proud, the protagonists of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights do not expect a blessed unity in death in the traditional sense. Instead, they create a personal form of spirituality as a means of coping psychologically with their lives. I agree with Margaret Lenta that “the novel’s main subject, from which all other events radiate, is the love between Heathcliff and Catherine” (67). Since social convention impedes their physical union in life, they are led to believe that they may only find unity in death. The passion that ultimately consumes Catherine and Heathcliff fuels their longing for eternal union after death. However, to be able to understand the reason for their ‘death wish’ we must first understand the nature of their relationship as well as the barriers that interfere with its realization. These barriers, which are primarily of a social nature, hinder them from uniting physically during their lives and cause psychological pain and suffering. In this essay, I intend to explore the symbiotic nature of the Catherine-Heathcliff relationship as well as the reasons for its development. I will then examine the barriers that interfere with the lovers’ desired physical unification, the psychological and physical reactions these barriers cause, and finally, the ultimate result of the barriers – Catherine and Heathcliff’s wish to be unified in death.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. , 23 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53868Local ID: ENG D-11OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53868DiVA: diva2:1102428
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
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  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NB
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