Sociology The story of Wuthering Heights provides us with the idea of class ambiguity through a selection of characters that do not belong to one specific social class and whose status changes throughout the novel, which is contrary to the main idea that in Victorian England a person was born into one social class and usually stayed there for the rest of their lives. The main example of the changing social class in the novel is Heathcliff. However, he is frequently shunned because of his poor roots and his lack of background. Cathy Earnshaw is also born into a upper class life at Thrushcross Grange, constantly having attention and always getting the things that she wants.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work. The book is actually structured around two parallel love stories, the first half of the novel centering on the love between Catherine and Heathcliff, while the less dramatic second half features the developing love between young Catherine and Hareton.
In contrast to the first, the latter tale ends happily, restoring peace and order to Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.
Early in the novel Hareton seems irredeemably brutal, savage, and illiterate, but over time he becomes a loyal friend to young Catherine and learns to read. When young Catherine first meets Hareton he seems completely alien to her world, yet her attitude also evolves from contempt to love.
In choosing to marry Edgar, Catherine seeks a more genteel life, but she refuses to adapt to her role as wife, either by sacrificing Heathcliff or embracing Edgar. In Chapter XII she suggests to Nelly that the years since she was twelve years old and her father died have been like a blank to her, and she longs to return to the moors of her childhood.
Heathcliff, for his part, possesses a seemingly superhuman ability to maintain the same attitude and to nurse the same grudges over many years. Their love denies difference, and is strangely asexual.
The two do not kiss in dark corners or arrange secret trysts, as adulterers do. Ultimately, Wuthering Heights presents a vision of life as a process of change, and celebrates this process over and against the romantic intensity of its principal characters.
The Precariousness of Social Class As members of the gentry, the Earnshaws and the Lintons occupy a somewhat precarious place within the hierarchy of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British society.
At the top of British society was the royalty, followed by the aristocracy, then by the gentry, and then by the lower classes, who made up the vast majority of the population. Although the gentry, or upper middle class, possessed servants and often large estates, they held a nonetheless fragile social position.
The social status of aristocrats was a formal and settled matter, because aristocrats had official titles. Members of the gentry, however, held no titles, and their status was thus subject to change. A man might see himself as a gentleman but find, to his embarrassment, that his neighbors did not share this view.
The Lintons are relatively firm in their gentry status but nonetheless take great pains to prove this status through their behaviors. The Earnshaws, on the other hand, rest on much shakier ground socially.Subscribe. to The William Blake Archive Newsletter. © Copyright , The William Blake Archive.
A summary of Themes in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Wuthering Heights and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
An Analysis of the Effects of Social Class in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte PAGES 2. Sign up to view the complete essay. Show me the full essay.
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This is the end of the preview. Sign up to view the rest of the essay. Read the full essay. More essays like this: wuthering heights, emily bronte. Not. The novel Wuthering Heights takes place in nineteenth century England, a time where social class held utmost importance and the characters in this novel were no exception to that standard.
This is a lesson about how to write a synthesis essay, which is an advanced type of writing whereby the writer chooses a topic, asserts a claim, selects and combines sources, then constructs an.
In Wuthering Heights, social class and the uncertainty of which class many of the characters belong to is used to develop the plot of the story. The main example of this is Heathcliff’s struggle with social class, which causes much of the turmoil for the other characters in the book.