Get an answer for 'Describe Catherine and Heathcliff's relationship as they were growing up.' and find homework help for other Wuthering Heights questions at. Middle-school angst has nothing on the love story of Catherine and Heathcliff in Emily Bronte's famous novel ''Wuthering Heights.'' Heathcliff. Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff's relationship has defied the tests of time; . Emily Brontë and Wuthering HeightsIn "Wuthering Height".
Still, how can such depth of feeling that drives both lovers to the very extremes of their being, both physically and emotionally, be considered love? According to my definition, their passion for each other falls outside the boundaries of healthy, true love and into the boundaries of destructive obsession, as they do not help each other grow, are not in an equal relationship, and are only partly ready to defy any obstacles that stand in their way.
Catherine and Heathcliff most definitely fail to make each other better people, or grow in any way. They are continuously bringing unrest to the house with their mischief, a feat that will only be multiplied in their adulthood. Their last conversation also highlight another vital point: How can this be seen as love, when they continuously physically and emotionally destroy rather than nurture and accept one another? Another indicator of their pseudo-love relationship is the lack of equality.
In his childhood Heathcliff is completed devoted to Catherine, a devotion that Catherine knows surpasses all else.
Power should never be the dominant drive in a relationship. Heathcliff also exerts power in their relationship, if only years later when he returns: He did not raise his to her, often; a quick glance now and then sufficed; but if flashed back, each time more confidently, the undisguised delight he drank from hers. Moreover, it is hard to consider Catherine and Heathcliff equals when they continuously refer to themselves as one person; it is impossible to be equal when you are the same.
Similarly, in their last conversation Heathcliff compares Catherine to his soul, his life and his existence. How can you claim love when there is no other being to love? Finally we come to the more ambiguous aspect, the notion that love conquers all. Although Catherine and Heathcliff do have an unwavering and transcendent passion for each other, their feelings for each are not enough for them to be together on earth.
Love in "Wuthering Heights"
If Catherine loved Heathcliff she would have relinquished her fanciful aims for wealth and status and chosen Heathcliff over Edgar. Heathcliff accuses her of this betrayal as he holds her, dying, in his arms: As Heathcliff grows older his need to join Catherine grows until he finally joins her in death.
In this sense it does seem that their passion for each other prevailed, however not on this earth. The fact that they could only be joined in death may be evidence that their feelings could not exist in our world. They was too extreme and too destructive to prevail in life.
Despite the generally accepted view that Heathcliff and Catherine are deeply in love with each other, the question of whether they really "love" each other has to be addressed.
Her sister Charlotte, for example, called Heathcliff's feelings "perverted passion and passionate perversity. Their love exists on a higher or spiritual plane; they are soul mates, two people who have an affinity for each other which draws them togehter irresistibly.
Heathcliff repeatedly calls Catherine his soul. Such a love is not necessarily fortunate or happy. Day Lewis, Heathcliff and Catherine "represent the essential isolation of the soul, the agony of two souls—or rather, shall we say?What you want me to be (Hareton, Heathcliff - Wuthering Heights)
Clifford Collins calls their love a life-force relationship, a principle that is not conditioned by anything but itself. It is a principle because the relationship is of an ideal nature; it does not exist in life, though as in many statements of an ideal this principle has implications of a profound living significance.
Catherine's conventional feelings for Edgar Linton and his superficial appeal contrast with her profound love for Heathcliff, which is "an acceptance of identity below the level of consciousness. This fact explains why Catherine and Heathcliff several times describe their love in impersonal terms.
Heathcliff and Catherine: Love or Obsession? | IB HL Literature
Are Catherine and Heathcliff rejecting the emptiness of the universe, social institutions, and their relationships with others by finding meaning in their relationship with each other, by a desperate assertion of identity based on the other?
Catherine explains to Nelly: What were the use of my creation if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning; my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and, if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe would turn to a mighty stranger.
I should not seem part of it" Ch. Dying, Catherine again confides to Nelly her feelings about the emptiness and torment of living in this world and her belief in a fulfilling alternative: I'm wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there; not seeing it dimly through tears, and yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart; but really with it, and in it" Ch.
Their love is an attempt to break the boundaries of self and to fuse with another to transcend the inherent separateness of the human condition; fusion with another will by uniting two incomplete individuals create a whole and achieve new sense of identity, a complete and unified identity. This need for fusion motivates Heathcliff's determination to "absorb" Catherine's corpse into his and for them to "dissolve" into each other so thoroughly that Edgar will not be able to distinguish Catherine from him.
Freud explained this urge as an inherent part of love: Love has become a religion in Wuthering Heights, providing a shield against the fear of death and the annihilation of personal identity or consciousness. This use of love would explain the inexorable connection between love and death in the characters' speeches and actions. Wuthering Heights is filled with a religious urgency—unprecedented in British novels—to imagine a faith that might replace the old.
Nobody else's heaven is good enough. Echoing Cathy, Heathdiff says late in the book, "I have nearly attained my heaven; and that of others is altogether unvalued and uncoveted by me! The hope for salvation becomes a matter of eroticized private enterprise Catherine and Heathcliff have faith in their vocation of being in love with one another