Importance Of Social Status In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

2467 Words 10 Pages
Alexander Pope once said, “To be angry is to revenge the faults of others on ourselves” (BrainyQuote). In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, the novel’s primary antagonist, Heathcliff, spends the majority of his life being angry. Heathcliff, an orphan adopted by the Earnshaws, a family of the gentry class in British society, falls in love with their daughter, Catherine. Therefore, Catherine’s eventual decision to marry Edgar Linton because of his social status, instead of her childhood lover Heathcliff, spurs him to seek reprisal. Throughout this novel, Bronte critiques the detrimental effects of a vengeful heart, the destructive nature of an unwavering love, and the significance of social class. Heathcliff’s fervent thirst for revenge towards the Earnshaw and Linton families determines several of his actions throughout the novel. “When we …show more content…
Therefore, the significance placed on social status is prevalent throughout the novel. Bronte illustrates how the importance of social status affects Heathcliff and Catherine. These social pressures affect the character’s self-worth, decisions, and their relationships. Heathcliff, a poor, orphan had the most trouble fitting into the prim and proper standards of the English high class society when he arrived at the Wuthering Heights estate to live with the Earnshaws. All of the family members shared negative opinions of him, except Catherine, who also once belonged to the lower class. “Catherine, who does not expect to inherit, responds spontaneously to Heathcliff’s presence” (Eagleton). Despite her natural attraction to him, Catherine only pursues Heathcliff because she does not think that she will inherit much, so she feels as if she has nothing to lose by doing so. The relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine ends on the basis everyone’s negative views of Heathcliff and his lack of high social

Related Documents