Social Status In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

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The society has developed the class system to categorize individuals into rankings based on social and economic status. The existence of superior and inferior mentality in communities are a result of the differences in economic and social status, skin colour, and religion. An individual’s status or position plays a dominant role in his being, which in turn, creates divisions in society. Unfortunately, an individual’s status has become the foundation of a person’s being, and it often predetermines his life chances and future actions. People in the lower bracket of the population feel the need to move up the social-economic ladder, as a result of the distressing treatment that they receive from the upper members of the society. In Emily Bronte’s …show more content…
The novel Wuthering Heights takes place in the 19th century where societal pressure held utmost importance. During those times, individuals with higher social standing are expected to act in accordance with the proper standards that they should not involve themselves with lower class levels. As a result of the importance of social and economic status, it affects Heathcliff and Catherine’s identity and relationship. Moreso, Heathcliff is not welcome by the members of higher society and is considered an enigmatic outsider. In turn, as he is branded as an outcast, this prevents his relationship with Catherine to progress. In Volume I, Chapter 7, Catherine visits Thrushcross Grange and discovers that there is more outside her confines. The shift in personality is evident when Catherine transforms from an uncivilized young adult to a well-mannered lady. She becomes so fixated on the differences between the Earnshaws and the Lintons, to such extent that her transformation into a young-finessed lady confirms that she moves up the social ladder and that she can no longer associate herself with anyone lower than her. Although Catherine manifests a deep affection for Heathcliff, since she strives to ascend to the top of the hierarchy, she chooses high status over love. An example of this is when Catherine confides in Nelly about Edgar Linton’s marriage proposal. Catherine finds herself in a turmoil as Nelly asks her “ Why do you love him Miss Cathy?” (Bronte 78). Catherine exclaims, “...because he is handsome...And he will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighbourhood” (Bronte 78). Although Catherine admits her deep affection for Heathcliff, “...more than myself than I am.” (Bronte 81), she marries a man from the upper society as a result of her desire for transcendence in society. Catherine states “It would degrade me to marry

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