The Substantial Choices that Altered Many Destinations
By: Rebecca Sloan
The Earnshaw’s and the Linton’s both made many substantial choices that arbitrated their egotistic and non-egotistic destinations. Throughout the course of Emily Bronte’s novel, Wuthering Heights, one may have noted Hareton and Catherines ability to overcome their differences, unlike their parents.Bronte shows the differences between her two main couples through their upbringing, characteristics, and their abilities.
The elder Earnshaw and Linton’s childhoods are different than the childhoods of their children. The Earnshaws upbringing was done at Wuthering Heights by their father. Wuthering Heights was a dark, stormy place, filled with anger and rejection.Mr. Earnshaw spoils Healthciff and is distraught if anyone shunned him, even if it were his own children. Hindley is the best example; Mr. Earnshaw shipped him away to college so that he could give all of his attention to Healthcliff and Catherine. Although Mr. Earnshaw died Hindley came back and forbid Healthcliff to study. Which automatically degraded Healthcliff to a mere servant on the heights. Through this quote told by Nelly, ” He drove him from their company to the servants, deprived him of the instructions of the curate, and insisted that he should labor outdoors instead.”(38) Hindley pretty much gets total revenge on his father through punishing Healthcliff.
Catherine spent five weeks with the Lintons at Thrushcross Grange, a happier home with loving parents and close family bonds.Its inhabitants, Edgar and Isabella, were brought up like royalty, so when Catherine arrived she was spoiled as well, “Isabella emptied a plateful of cakes into her lap and.. They dried and combed her beautiful hair, and gave her a pair of enormous slippers, and wheeled her to the fire.”(42) This clearly made Catherine more aware of her social status and who she wanted to be. It also opened her eyes to the truth about her true love Healthcliff. If she were to marry a rich man she could save him from her brother Hindley and learn to love Edgar. As she clearly told Nelly from her selfishness in Chapter nine Edgar must shake off his antipathy, and tolerate him… I can aid Healthcliff to rise, and place him out of my brother’s power” This was normal for the time period, however, left Edgar whom truly loved Catherine with the no one to care for him. Edgar was a true man whose only bad trait was, loving Catherine.
The children of these characters show stronger will power and the ability to overcome differences. Maybe it was the difference in their childhoods from their parent’s or that they had characteristics of all to bring them together and dismiss all hatred. Hindley’s child Hareton was also brought up at the Heights. He, however, received love from Nelly in his early months. Although, he was very young this could have shifted his whole view of love. Nelly protected him from his father’s fits and loved him like he was her own. Hareton might not have remembered her but deep down knew he was loved. After Nelly left Wuthering Heights, Healthcliff raised Hareton. Due to Heathcliff’s revenge on Hareton’s father Hindley, Hareton was brought up a worker on the farm and was not educated.
Catherine and Edgar’s child, Cathy, was brought up in Edgar’s home, Thrushcross Grange, in a happy environment. She was loved and sheltered by both her father and Nelly. Because of Edgar’s faith he was able to move past his loss, Cathy’s mother Catherine, and focus on loving his daughter. She was however, kept at the Grange and lived a very sheltered life. Her father and Nelly did not tell her about her relatives down the road because of her purity and her well being. Due to her childhood she was enabled to possess many favorable qualities that led her to dominate her own future, unlike her mother. Cathy was able to choose to be happy. She was capable of knowing right and wrong and whom she loves. Cathy knew it was wrong to make fun of Hareton so like her mother, she decided to help educate him. Unlike her mother, she overcame all of her selfishness and realized her love would overcome the unfavorable acts of her uncle. Like Hareton she was robbed of her land and money and forced to roam Wuthering Heights paying off the debts of her forebear.
When Cathy came to the Heights, Hareton decided, just like Healthciff, that he wanted to learn to show Cathy that he is more than just a laborer. This quote clearly identifies Haretons feelings towards Cathy’s advent into his life and his evading of Healthcliff.
” He had been content with daily labor and rough animalenjoyments, til Catherine crossed his path- Shame at her scorn, and hope of her approval were his first prompters to higherpursuits; and instead of guarding him from one, and winning him the other, his endavours to raise himself had produced just thecontrary result.” (259)
These two pair of lovers made many decisions that altered their futures in many ways. The parents left their children with the same choices to make because of their lack of judgment. Hareton and Cathy were able to overcome many differences between both themselves and their parents. To many people’s surprise their decisions resulted in an almost perfect conclusion, a conclusion and future of unending happiness.