Snuffing Out the Only Light

Note: HC is Heathcliff

I had high hopes for Edgar’s daughter: Cathy. She behaves worlds better than her mother and was raised by a father who loves her, but like most characters in this book, she has some negative qualities that are hard to over-look. Although the arrival of Isabella’s son, Linton, makes these traits more apparent, they were there from the beginning.

I had high hopes for Edgar’s daughter: Cathy. She behaves worlds better than her mother and was raised by a father who loves her, but like most characters in this book, she has some negative qualities that are hard to over-look. Although the arrival of Isabella’s son, Linton, makes these traits more apparent, they were there from the beginning.

I don’t know why it’s raining, but he looks good here

The first time that Cathy runs off to Wuthering Heights she meets Hareton. This encounter made me happy because I love Hareton (which may be due in part to him being played by Matthew MacFadyen, who also plays Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice), and he seemed to enjoy her company. That changed the instant she found out they were cousins; Cathy completely lost her mild-mannered disposition and started calling him a “clown” and “wicked creature” (162). So, I quickly caught on that she’s a brat.

Edgar returns with Linton not long after this encounter, and Cathy has lofty expectations for their relationship. However, he is only with them a day before Heathcliff shows up demanding his property. I say “property” and not “son” because HC doesn’t treat him like a father should. I don’t think he’s even capable of caring about anything since Catherine’s death, but Linton is also sickly and doesn’t resemble Heathcliff in the slightest, only adding to his father’s disdain. HC even claims to hate him, which is something I would normally deem impossible as he’s his own flesh and blood, but knowing Heathcliff, I don’t doubt it.

Linton is just as happy about the arrangement as those living at Wuthering Heights, that is: not at all. Heathcliff has a plan for Linton, though, that keeps him enduring the kid’s presence, which is to marry him off to Cathy and inherit Thrushcross Grange. I would feel bad for Linton, but he’s one of the worst characters in the book. It’s not entirely his fault as his father calls him worthless all the time, and the only person in the house who pays him any mind is his nurse, Zillah. But those Linton family genes have predisposed him to entitlement.

One part of the book that I really like is in chapter seven of Volume II. It’s not that I like what’s said, (in fact, I resent it) but when Heathciff says it, you get the sense of the kind of person he is and how truly little he cares about anyone but himself. He’s comparing Hareton and Linton, saying, “…one is gold put to the use of paving stones; and the other is tin polished to ape a service of silver— Mine has nothing valuable about it; yet I shall have the merit of making it go as far as such poor stuff can go. [Hindley’s] had first-rate qualities, and they are lost– rendered worse that unavailing…” (180).

This hurt me because, as I’ve said before, Hareton is one of only three people in this entire book that I actually like, (the others being Mrs. Dean and Mr. Lockwood) and he had the potential to make Wuthering Heights a better place, but instead he is held back by his cruel, self-serving uncle and ridiculed by his 13 year old cousins. The fact that they make fun of him because he wasn’t given the opportunity to be educated really gets under my skin. Back then, and still throughout the world today, an education is a privilege, which they are lucky enough to receive, but the haughty brats make fun of Hareton for thinking it an accomplishment to learn how to spell his name.

I guess this especially bothers me because it is still an issue today that people hold intelligence against others, acting as though being uneducated means you are worthless in society. I have never understood the motive of thinking like this, and as I’ll be going to college in a number of months, I’m scared they will be in abundance. Only the worst type of person pokes fun at someone for something so inconsequential.

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