Journal 3

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Journal 3

Post  Youn Sujin on Tue Jun 03 2008, 01:52

My personal impression of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights mainly illustrates outrageous love and hate of a man against a backdrop of wilderness in desolate, dreary Yorkshire. Especially, all of these has its origin in love between Heathcliff and Catherine. Heathcliff and Catherine's love is an extraordinarily special one, compared to other kind of novels. I would like to set out these questions first: How can a person love his/her counterparts so intensely? and Is it desirable to call it 'love'? I will cover the passionate love between Heathcliff and Catherine first, and the factors which derived such catastrophe lastly.

Catherine had referred her love towards Heathcliff as a rock which never changes, and with the love, there was no boundary of virtue and vice, reason and sensitivity, life and death. All the artificial, man-made standards give way to the love, finally letting nature, the essence of human emotion, be alone. It is possible to catch an extremity of love at reading Catherine's remark that Heathcliff is herself. Also, Heathcliff's love towards Cathy was too passionate, though it made him blind with retaliation in the end. From this, we can draw an assumption that there is no border between 'you' and 'me'. In most of romantic novels, love, in realistic context, deceases when one of the couple passes away. However, in Wuthering Heights, the spirit of the living and the dead is quite specifically described, and the spirits sympathize each other. In this perspective, their purity of love can be justified definitely.

Then, why couldn't their love come true at last? I dare to argue that their love might have been an imaginary one, which could not come true by the matters in reality, and which would not come true by their own will at the same time. I don't even want to call it love; it might once have been love, but it changed in quality from some point of the period.

First of all, In my opinion, Heathcliff was too passive when it comes to the matter concerning Catherine's love; since he never tried to draw Catherine's attention when she was almost in love with Linton. He actually tries once, being aided by Nelly, to be a neat guy who might catch Catherine's eyesight like Linton, but it fails unfortunately. He just got angry and that was all. That action would have meant nothing to Catherine. He gave up all the things too easily compared to what he had done to Hindley when he was younger, though his characteristic didn't make a dramatic change. This is the reason why I think him a man of passive nature. He seems to had excessive fondness in Catherine on one hand, yet on the other, he was not willing to secure the love. He didn't have the power of execution himself, and he only learned how to react with reprisal.

Also, the outcomes of their love made the main complications, finally driving almost all of the characters to death in the end. Heathcliff's love towards Catherine, which could be seen beautiful to some readers, didn't come true, faced with a bunch of obstacles. His discontent with this reality changed into hate and abhorrence, exploding in a negative way. Heathcliff, being taken away the chance to love Catherine, or given it up himself, only thinks of the revenge. As I mentioned before, he had no power to execute something in positive way, and when Hindley became the master of Wuthering Heights, he had no power to do even in a negative way. Perhaps he had been waiting for the time for revenge or whatsoever. Anyway, for about 3 years, after running away from Wuthering Heights, he gain the power, some of which came from lots of property to take away Wuthering Heights from Hindely. This power, combined with Heathcliff's evil nature, erupts as a form of ultimate revenge towards all of the members in Linton's and Earnshaw's except for Catherine. His devastating influence on both families brought a series of tragedy, including Catherine's death. His scheme of repayment for what he had undergone, was one of the major causes of the frustrating result. His plan of revenge bred not just Catherine's death, but also other family member's pain and vexation to add Catherine deeper disappointment and frustration. If Heathcliff's love was true and sincere, he should have done something to relieve Catherine's burden, or at least he should have not bother her family members in those evil ways.

What's more, Catherine's behavior and thoughts formed an ironic scene. Catherine hoped that she could lift Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights after she got married to Edgar Linton, but this conception was too idealistic, and even selfish. She thought of her only happiness and not other's. She never thought of what on earth Heathcliff wanted, and what would happen after her marriage as well. As a result, Linton suffers from Catherine and Heathcliff's intimate relationship. What's worse, she had really some kind of attachment to Linton when she came with the idea of saving Heathcliff. Here, we can find Catherine's mercenary desire. She both loved Linton, who has a significant amount of property, and Heathcliff, the one she really loved, and didn't want to lose either love or higher social status. Finally, she chooses social status, with the pretended intention of releasing Heathcliff, and the love, loses its meaning. She tried to justify her situation, and told Nelly about her spirit and heart, that refuses the marriage. However, It seems to be nothing but hypocrisy or at least, sticking to lingering attachment to Heathcliff. In other words, she 'thought' she loved Heathcliff so much, but didn't act like what she had thought.

On reading Wuthering Heights, most of the people would think that the whole story is about an intense love and crude vengeance. However, I read this novel from a different point of view, focusing on the possibility of love which was fake. With the reasons I presented above, I'm convinced that the collapse of the two families was mainly caused by the faultiness in love, and uncontrolled desire and emotion.
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Re: Journal 3

Post  Inkab on Wed Jun 04 2008, 15:52

I remember I tried to read this book when I was a middle school student. But all those difficult names and complex plot discourageed me to go through this book. It's amazing to me you've read this book even in English verson. Today, thanks to your kind introduction and personal appreciation, I've got clear image what this book is trying to convery. Hopefully I can have one more chance to dig into this book~.
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Re: Journal 3

Post  Hyun a Ji on Tue Jun 10 2008, 00:12

I watched this movie in a class when I was freshman. I remembered man loves woman so much. I didn't understand his action, his love even now. However England landscape was wonderful like other movie( pride & prejudice, Tess of duvurbill ) . Someday I want to visit there in England thinking wuthering heights in your essays. Very Happy
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