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Commentry – wuthering heights

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The ninth chapter of Emily Bronte’s perplexing novel, Wuthering Heights takes the reader to the climax of the novel where Catherine discusses with Nelly, her decision to marry Edgar. Although, still an account of Lokwood’s diary, it is a narration of Nelly’s accounts at Wuthering Heights. Bronte uses informal language to make sure every event is clear and understandable to readers and words that are indigenous to her place of residence. Catherine speaks of her love for Heathcliff and Linton and how both those ‘ loves’ are so different from each other. Catherine’s mind is going through turmoil and she confides in Nelly her desires and pains. Catherine and Heathcliff’s passion for one and other seems to be the center of Wuthering Heights, given that it displays the strongest emotions in the this novel.

However, the dangers of social classes and their importance in the eighteenth century British Society somehow seem to overcome, even this fervid, undying love that Catherine and Heathcliff have for each other. Everyone dreams , whether they do so subconsciously or consciously. Dreams are a part of our psychology that sometimes display our deepest, darkest of desires (sometimes , even remorse). Catherine recounts to Nelly, the strange dreams she’s been having lately. Bronte uses similes to describe the intensity of these dreams on Catherine.

” Like wine through water”, these dreams have almost taken over Catherine and she is completely overwhelmed by the effect they have had on her. Nelly, on the other hand, has her own reasons to fear dreams and these fears are mostly brought about by her superstitious nature. Nelly secretly hopes to never hear of Catherine’s dreams, as she is afraid they will come true. Yet, it can be seen that Nelly tries to console Catherine in her own way by telling her that human beings have the tendency to hallucinate or create situations in their minds, that don’t actually exist. Phantoms and other manifestations are like a mirage – simply a fragment of our imaginations and games of a human mind. It is ironic that Nelly speaks to Catherine so casually of the dreams, even though they actually make her anxious.

The reader can identify with this because narrator uses mainly visual pictures to paint an almost exact picture of the characters being observed. In this way, readers can visualize a mental picture of how Nelly is reacting towards Catherine in this event. “ Catherine had an unusual gloom in her aspect, that made me dread something from which I might shape a prophecy, and foresee a fearful catastrophe. She was vexed but she did not proceed. ” The narrator also emphasizes the facial features to point out the mood and emotions of the character.

Look at little Hareton- he’s dreaming nothing dreary. How sweetly he smiles in his sleep! ” “ Yes and how sweetly his father curses in his solitude! You remember him, I dare say, when he was just such another that chubby thing – nearly as young and innocent. ” Bronte makes a Biblical reference to ‘ heaven’ through Catherine. Catherine tells Nelly that if she were in heaven, she would be ashamed of herself. Through this it is clear that for a Christian, heaven exists. Catherine is burdened with the guilt of the thoughts she has been having lately-of marrying Edgar for the wrong reasons.

It is almost as if Catherine is deceiving herself because it is Heathcliff that she loves and not Edgar. Deceit is a misdemeanor according to the bible. Catherine had been to heaven in her dream and according to me, this was the reason she didn’t feel like she belonged there and was ‘ thrown back on to earth’, in Wuthering Heights- where she still lay terrified and confused, yearning for her love Here (keeping the biblical reference in mind), Heaven is the symbol of ‘ good’ and virtue; and Wuthering Heights, that of ‘ evil’ and immorality. It makes the reader question why even the heavens weren’t powerful enough to hear this helpless lover’s cry ? Simultaneously, the reader observes how Bronte uses a mixture different types of sentences. She uses compound or lengthy sentences to either elaborately describe a character or event; then brief sentences that serve to bluntly state the point at hand in dialogue.

She also frequently uses hyphens, semicolons, and colons to provide further explanation of an action, character, or preceding thought. The hyphens and colons also serve as a pause in thought before the speaker continues her narration or with dialogue. It is Bronte’s way of bringing even the minutest of detail to the reader’s notice. This brings the reader to the concluding paragraph of this extract shows beyond doubt that Cathy is in love with Heathcliff and is considering Edgars hand in marriage only because she wants to use his wealth so that she and Heathcliff can finally live “ happily ever after”. The theme of passion versus rational love is explored here. Catherine’s love for Heathcliff holds no boundaries.

Catherine and Heathcliff are so alike that their souls are metaphorically one- “ he is more myself than I am,” says Catherine. Catherine’s claims are ironic in accordance to the reader. Catherine says her love for Heathcliff surpasses physical and material desires and yet, she believes she needs to marry Edgar for materialistic reasons that will help her fulfill her love for Heathcliff. Bronte’s use of metaphors beautifully describes Catherine’s views on what she shares with Heathcliff in contrast to what she shares with Edgar. ” Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning or frost from fire.

“ It I helped the reader realize that Catherine will never be able to feel for Edgar, the way she feels for Heathcliff; simply because they had nothing in common. Catherine believed that Heathcliff and her were soul-mates and in many ways, so does the reader. The love she had for Heathcliff was an ‘ undying love’, the kind of love, lovers make sacrifices for, a selfless love. It was quite unlike the love she had for Edgar that was a selfish ‘ love’. Heathcliff was Catherine’s one true love.

It was this very love that ordained her to break open the gates of Wuthering Heights and run across to Thrushcross Grange, into the arms of another man.

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