Neither of these returnings were very pleasant or desirable. ” (C. Bronte, 137) While Jane has lived in various locations, she never truly feels at home anywhere. Jane isn’t really given the option to go and explore the world. She takes what’s given to her and doesn’t achieve the home feeling she wants. Jane’s lack of wealth stops her from exploring and finding this home. However, Jane’s persistence and challenge of societies standards allow her to finally find this home. She says to Rochester, “Thank you, Mr. Rochester, for your great kindness. I am strangely glad to get back again to you; and wherever you are is my home, – my only home.
” (C. Bronte, 209) Jane feels like she has finally found the place she fits in rightfully when she is with the man she loves. The settings of the novels are really important when looking at the struggle between characters. Because they are located in a moors where the rich live, or stuck living with relatives who have an aspiring aspect to keep up their family name, conflict ensues. The themes in these novels suggest that the aristocratic system of power was under threat by the rising middle class and personal desires people had. The moors in Wuthering Heights can be considered symbolic.
Moors are difficult to navigate, not easily cultivated, and proves that living on them is dangerous. The dangers seen in the moors were symbolic to the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff. It was wild and unpredictable, just like the moors. The relationship was paralleled in the in their surroundings. Bronte says, “I bounded, leaped, and flew down the steep road ; then, quitting its windings, shot direct across the moor, rolling over banks, and wading through marshes: precipitating myself, in fact, towards the beacon-light of the Grange. ”(E.
Bronte, 30) This quote describes the dangerous situations the moors present, which are similar to the dangerous situations Catherine and Heathcliff’s, love put them in. The moors are dangerous and unpredictable, much like Catherine and Heathcliff. Bronte uses this location because there are similarities between the wildness of the setting and the characters. Jane’s progression as a woman is also mirrored in her surroundings. As Jane grows and changes, the places she lives changes as well. She stays with the Reeds, than she goes to school, and eventually on to working for Rochester.
As she experiences new things, she starts to blend in with them and change to where she is. The setting is important because it helps us better understand who and why Jane and Heathcliff are who they are. Being stuck in a mansion and working for the rich stopped them from achieving their goals. Granted, Heathcliff would have never have met Catherine but that didn’t really play out too well for him. They couldn’t control the fact that they were born into a lower class or the fact that Jane was a woman, but it clouded their chances of going anywhere.
The reason social class provided such a distinct problem in both novels had everything to do with the time period. The rich and famous never really associated themselves with the poorer and it was not often seen that love blossomed between these groups of individuals. It was a time were image was everything; people wanted to be known and the only way to do that was by being rich. It’s an interesting to see that perhaps attitudes like this still exist, to a lesser degree. For some, image is more important than true love. Catherine decided it was best for her and her family to give up her true love, and that’s exactly what she did.
Whether or not Catherine was happy with Edgar Linton is questionable, but it wasn’t important. What was important was Catherine’s willingness to give up what she cared for most because she knew it was better for herself, her family, and her image. Catherine may or not be considered selfish in this image, but the fact of the matter is that her choice was what changed Heathcliff into a monster. And all because Heathcliff was different. Character Development In both novels, it’s important to note the developments each character goes through. We see both Heathcliff and Jane as children, and we see the changes that happen to them.
Heathcliff was wild child who loved to play and make trouble with Catherine. The two were inseparable. Nelly, the maid at Wuthering Heights, says, “She was much too fond of Heathcliff. The greatest punishment we could invent for her was to keep her separate from him: yet she got chided more than any of us on his account. ”(E. Bronte, 30) Everyone knew that Heathcliff and Catherine were close and had a special bond. But as time goes on, and Catherine meets Edgar, things change. When Catherine and Heathcliff start to drift apart, we see Heathcliff become cold and distant from people. Heathcliff’s distant from Catherine ruined him.
He eventually becomes the owner of Wuthering Heights but he’s still not happy because he lost Catherine. The attitude developed by Catherine and Heathcliff show the power love has over an individual. The boundaries between people can cause them to develop personality differences. The effect social class has on the pursuit of love is highlighted in Catherine and Heathcliff’s situation. Watching Heathcliff change over the course of the story is very revealing. Heathcliff in his natural habitat is running around joyfully with Catherine and the effects of losing her devastate him. His development shows how losing love can almost destroy a person.
Catherine married Edgar, who was another wealthy individual, and changed her attitude because she knew that’s what was expected of her. Heathcliff pays the price for Catherine giving into society. Heathcliff becomes resentful towards those who arranged Catherine’s marriage to Edgar. He says, “I’m trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back. I don’t care how long I wait, if I can only do it at last. I hope he will not die before I do! ” (E. Bronte, P. 69) The concept of giving into societies pressures is an inhibitor of happiness. The idea of women being forced into arrangements was common in this time period.
Women were not given the opportunity to strive and become their own person as often as men did. Wuthering Heights uses Catherine to show how the desire to have one thing, or one person, may be overruled by the desires society places on you. Jane’s personality is also shaped by her surroundings. She is at a constant struggle to find herself and keep up her pride. She never wants to give into what is expected from a woman. Jane’s desire to make herself proud is something that can be a problem for her or a blessing. Jane starts off living with the Reeds but eventually leaves for school and afterward to work for Rochester.