Are Catherine and Heathcliff cut from the same cloth? | BritLit
Cathy and Heathcliff's introduction to one another is hardly a good one. . ends with the promise of a happy marriage between Hareton and young Catherine. Cathy is trying to analyse the nature of her relationship with Heathcliff, for .. leaving out her cruelty towards both, given how neglectful she is of Heathcliff at. Struggling with the ending of Wuthering Heights? Marriage? to take one last look at the soon-to-be-married Hareton Earnshaw and Catherine Heathcliff.
I lost my original copy, bought several others over the decades, but never re-read it. I am not sure I even remembered the ending; much of the book was a blur after Catherine died and Heathcliff was left bereft.
It simply remained seminal on the strength of that first reading. My school was on the fringes of Hampstead Heath, in North London, and I spent the first term of Lower Sixth lounging on the same spot of grass with my circle of friends, observing other groups of students.
Until sixth-form, it had been a girls-only school but now boys joined us for English classes. The girls changed in their presence; they were attentive, flirtatious, knowing just what to say. Where had they learned this? I wondered, feeling quietly cast out from the Sophomoric drama of their parties and drunkenness and thigh-skimming dresses.
My comprehensive school had been fairly multicultural and included many of the girls from the housing estates around Highgate, but almost all of that diversity had emptied out by sixth-form. I admired their radical desire to get beneath — to overturn — convention, even if they both paid the price.
As an immigrant myself, I had shuttled between London and Lahore, speaking only Urdu for the first six years of my life, and I felt every bit the outsider in my adoptive homeland. By the time I came to Wuthering Heights, English was still the other language.
Love in "Wuthering Heights"
Maybe because of his outsider status, I forgave him for his flinty-heart and his violence as an adult. I related to it like a first great love which all other loves are measured against; more distant yet more revered over the years.
It sounded, reassuringly, like a novel that I had every reason to keep admiring. I approved and bought collector copies. Laurence Olivier seemed ridiculously tame, ridiculously white, as Heathcliff. Yes, of course Heathcliff was black, or at the very least, mixed-race.❥ Cathy and Heathcliff - These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends
It was not just the truth of Heathcliff that Arnold captured so acutely but the visual aesthetics of the book too. The film was so arresting with its strangely angled, half-empty frames of turbulent nature and sky merging with earth as Cathy and Heathcliff wrestled in the mud as children. And in their not-quite-sexual chemistry, she caught their exquisite, unassailable, almost brother-sister bond which is as profound as sibling love but too charged to be so.
Auster said he loved it for this narrative layering. I did too, I thought, and felt that even without re-reading it, I was coming to know the book better. Somewhere in my inner recesses, I knew a re-reading was potentially dangerous.
To revisit a book plucked out in my teens and forever held in the mind as the measure of my taste. Catherine explains to Nelly: What were the use of my creation if I were entirely contained here?
Are Catherine and Heathcliff cut from the same cloth?
My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning; my great thought in living is himself.
If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and, if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe would turn to a mighty stranger. I should not seem part of it" Ch. Dying, Catherine again confides to Nelly her feelings about the emptiness and torment of living in this world and her belief in a fulfilling alternative: I'm wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there; not seeing it dimly through tears, and yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart; but really with it, and in it" Ch.
Their love is an attempt to break the boundaries of self and to fuse with another to transcend the inherent separateness of the human condition; fusion with another will by uniting two incomplete individuals create a whole and achieve new sense of identity, a complete and unified identity. This need for fusion motivates Heathcliff's determination to "absorb" Catherine's corpse into his and for them to "dissolve" into each other so thoroughly that Edgar will not be able to distinguish Catherine from him.
Freud explained this urge as an inherent part of love: Love has become a religion in Wuthering Heights, providing a shield against the fear of death and the annihilation of personal identity or consciousness.
This use of love would explain the inexorable connection between love and death in the characters' speeches and actions. Wuthering Heights is filled with a religious urgency—unprecedented in British novels—to imagine a faith that might replace the old.
Wuthering Heights - What is the nature of Cathy's love for Heathcliff? Showing of 34
Nobody else's heaven is good enough. Echoing Cathy, Heathdiff says late in the book, "I have nearly attained my heaven; and that of others is altogether unvalued and uncoveted by me! The hope for salvation becomes a matter of eroticized private enterprise Catherine and Heathcliff have faith in their vocation of being in love with one another They both believe that they have their being in the other, as Christians, Jews, and Moslems believe that they have their being in God.
Look at the mystical passion of these two: That passion is a way of overcoming the threat of death and the separateness of existence.
Cathy and Heathcliff, revisited in midlife
Their calling is to be the other; and that calling, mad and destructive as it sometimes seems, is religious. The desire for transcendence takes the form of crossing boundaries and rejecting conventions; this is the source of the torment of being imprisoned in a body and in this life, the uncontrolled passion expressed in extreme and violent ways, the usurpation of property, the literal and figurative imprisonments, the necrophilia, the hints of incest and adultery, the ghosts of Catherine and Heathcliff—all, in other words, that has shocked readers from the novel's first publication.
Each has replaced God for the other, and they anticipate being reunited in love after death, just as Christians anticipate being reunited with God after death.
Nevertheless, Catherine and Heatcliff are inconsistent in their attitude toward death, which both unites and separates. I only wish us never to be parted," Catherine goes on to say, "I'm wearying to escape into that glorious world," a wish which necessarily involves separation Ch. Conventional religion is presented negatively in the novel. The abandoned church at Gimmerton is decaying; the minister stops visiting Wuthering Heights because of Hindley's degeneracy.
Catherine and Heathcliff reject Joseph's religion, which is narrow, self-righteous, and punitive.