Wuthering Heights - Two Women, Two Sides of the Same Coin

Topics: Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights, Sociology Pages: 4 (1261 words) Published: August 22, 2013
Jordan smith
EGL120 Essay

Student ID: 1051867
Word Count:

“Identify and discuss various representations of woman in Wuthering Heights”

The depictions of women in Wuthering Heights reveal that despair and happiness are direct outcomes of one’s decision to either be submissive to or oppose patriarchal constructs respectively. Catherine and Cathy II are portrayed as examples of both how giving power to patriarchal demands leads to misery and pain in contrast to how resisting patriarchal demands will lead to hope and joy. Firstly, the underlying theme of freedom illuminates how the women are influenced to make such critical decisions regarding their respective futures. Secondly, the concept of upbringing illustrates how childhood, home life and the journey to maturity influence Catherine and Cathy II’s choices and thoughts and dictates the outcomes of their lives. Finally, the other characters of Wuthering Heights are external reflections of the women’s inner turmoil and both influence and are affected positively or negatively by Catherine and Cathy II’s behaviour. The representations of both these women, in both impacting and being impacted upon by other concepts in the novel demonstrate effectively that the amount of happiness one receives in live is a result of their choices regarding whether they participate in or participate against patriarchal constructs.

The recurring theme of freedom in Wuthering Heights explains both the thought process behind each woman’s decisions regarding whether or not to follow patriarchal constructs and the way these decisions are instrumental in deciding the ultimate happiness of each woman. In Catherine’s childhood, she is shown embracing freedom, being described as being ‘mischievous and wayward’ and frequently adventuring with Heathcliff (Bronte, 1847: 33-36). Her childhood reflects how being free has contributed greatly to her happiness. However her time spent recovering at Thrushcross Grange restrain her...
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