Gender Roles In Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights

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Imagine a wealthy female who is in line to inherit the family wealth. She can only do so if she marries into a certain family. She would rather not marry for love, but for the sake of not wanting to lose her inheritance. This dilemma is very similar to what the main characters in Emily Brontë's novel, Wuthering Heights went through. By looking at the social class hierarchy during the Victorian period in Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, one can see the conflict between love and one's position in society amongst Heathcliff, Catherine, and Edgar which brings to light the unjustness and pressures of social norms. Andrew Abraham, author of "Emily Brontë's Gendered Response to Law And Patriarchy", states "...a married woman had no legal identity,…show more content…
Men do not have the issue of their belongings and identity being taken away once married to their spouse like the women do, because during this time period men owned women and they were their property. Once married to their wife they have complete control over them. Heathcliff plays a major role in demonstrating how social ranking can affect an individual of any kind. He refuses to give up on loving Catherine because he knows it is what his heart wants and he does not care what his social ranking is compared to hers. Heathcliff tries to rise to the top to prove everyone wrong that just because he is stuck in a certain social class, that does not mean he is not a well-rounded and respectful man. After dinner one night, Heathcliff expresses his feelings by saying, "... 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!"(Brontë 59). Heathcliff experiences hardship at an early age, from being looked at as a servant and someone who is worthless. Living in a time period where society dictates what an individual can and can not be is difficult when it comes to love and finding jobs. During Victorian era, it matters about what your last name is, and because Heathcliff was left by his parents…show more content…
He wins over Catherine's love because of his position in society. Catherine acknowledges that "marriage to Edgar Linton is still the means through which Catherine becomes the 'greatest woman of the neighborhood'..."(80). Edgar and his family are known to be classier than the Earnshaws. Edgar convinces Catherine that she is the one for him and they get married. Edgar does not have much of an issue with trying to conform to social norms because he was born into a sophisticated, middle class family and he knows it will benefit Catherine to marry him. Catherine states that, "Linton is all I have to love in the world, and though you

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