Monday, February 14, 2011

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte



Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte starts off with Mr. Lockwood, a wealthy Southerner, renting an estate called Thrushcross Grange in England. Here Mr. Lockwood meets Heathcliff, the wealthy owner of Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff and his family seem strange to Mr. Lockwood, so he asks his housekeeper, Nelly Dean, to tell the story of Heathcliff and the other inhabitants of the estate.
Nelly Dean was a servant years ago when Heathcliff was only a boy. Heathcliff was adopted by the wealthy Mr. Earnshaw and brought back to Wuthering Heights to live. Despite Mr. Earnshaw's hospitality, Heathcliff was rejected by Mr. Earnshaw's son Hindley. Along with Hindley was Catherine, who also hated Heathcliff but soon began to passionately love him. Heathcliff and Catherine grew very passionate about each other and could not be separated. Hindley hated this and was sent off to college for three years by Mr. Earnshaw.
When Mr. Earnshaw dies, Hindley comes back with his newly wedded wife, Frances. Hindley immediately seeks revenge on Heathcliff by treating him like a servant instead of a family member. Even though Heathcliff and Hindley have a terrible relationship, Catherine remains close to Heathcliff until she meets Edgar, a wealthy and spoiled man. When Catherine becomes engaged to Edgar, Heathcliff runs away and finally comes back three years later shortly after Catherine and Edgar get married. Heathcliff has become wealthy and Frances has died giving birth. When Hindley dies, Heathcliff inherits the Wuthering Heights and treats Hindley's son like a slave, just as Hindley has done to him in the past. Then, Heathcliff places himself in line to inherit Thrushcross Grange by marrying Isabella Linton, Edgar's sister. In the mean time, Catherine has a baby girl, which they also name Catherine, and then shortly dies. Even though Heathcliff treats Isabella very poorly, the two have a child, which they name Linton. Heathcliff gains control of the two estates and treats the children of those who have wronged him like servants in order to get revenge.
After many years pass, Linton and the young Cathering meet. They play in secret and eventually develop a romance. However, Linton is forced to be involved with Catherine by Heathcliff just so he can inherit Thrushcross Grange and get revenge on Edgar Linton, the man who took his beloved Catherine away from him. Heathcliff holds Catherine and Nelly hostage until Catherine agrees to marry Linton. Soon after, Linton dies and Catherine becomes the servant of Wuthering Heights.
1. Hindley seeks revenge on Heathcliff because his father, Mr. Earnshaw, liked Heathcliff better. Later in the novel, Heathcliff seeks revenge on Hindley and Edgar. Does the cycle of revenge ever end? If your family treated you as a servant, would you be able to forgive them or would you seek revenge?
2. Even though Catherine is deeply in love with Heathcliff, she marries Edgar because of his social status. Would you ever choose social status and wealth over love? Why or why not?

21 comments:

Amanda Z. 11-12 said...

1. I don't think the cycle of revenge ever ends until someone decides to be the bigger person and let it go. As soon as someone is willing to grow up and let bygones be bygones, people can move on with their lives and not waste time and energy holding a grudge against someone for something they did in the past. If my family treated me as a servent, sure I'd be mad and probably spiteful but I think holding grudges and seeking revenge is a waste of time. What happens happens and you just need to roll with it.
2. I might take the finacial situation into account because that is the cause of so many marital issues but love is so much more important than that. Catherine doesn't even really like Edgar all that much and et she marries him because she was brainwashed into thinking that was better. (I loved this book when I read it last year and I was all for Heathcliff and Catherine and totally against Edgar and Isabella and their snobbish attitudes).

Kristen R. 11-12 said...

To answer the first question, I agree with Amanda. I do not believe that the cycle of revenge ever truly ends unless the people involved can come to some type of an agreement in which they can compromise or unless someone merely acts as the bigger person because he or she realizes that this is the only way to truly end the cycle. If my family treated me like a servant, I would feel very disrepsected and alienated from my family; I would feel as if I was worth nothing to them other than what I could provide acting as a servant. However, I do think that I would be able to forgive them in time because at the end of the day, your family is always your family. You only get one family, and you can choose to hold grudges and constantly seek revenge, or you can live life with the mentality that each day is a new day and a chance to right the wrongs in one's life. To answer the second question, I would not be able to choose social status and wealth over love. If one is in a relationship for the wrong reasons, such as simply for the money, it is never going to work; neither person will be happy. Additionally, one never knows what is going to happen with finances, jobs, etc. If one's significant other loses his or her job and suddenly becomes broke, what is there left in a marriage soley based on wealth? If love exists, it will be able to help conquer difficult, unexpected times.

Megan D. 11-12 said...

In keeping with what both Amanda and Kristen have said, I do not think that the cycle of revenge can end unless there is a person who is willing to put the well being of others before the need to remedy a grievance with more grievances. It is not the easiest thing to do, to become "the bigger person", but it is necessary to end the cycle of revenge; the cycle cannot exist if it is only one sided.
Typically arranged marriages and, similarly, marriages simply for money or status do not result in happiness; the marriage is usually riddled with tension and cheating. This is not the kind of relationship I would wish on anyone, least of all myself. I would rather have someone that I love, someone that I can talk to and confide my deepest fears and triumphs in, than to have all the earthly possessions I could desire.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. I agree with all of you. Revenge can never end until one person decides to stop it. However, as you said, it is difficult being the bigger person.

In disagreement to what Amanda and Kristen said about forgiving, I do not think that I would be able to forgive my family for treating me so poorly. It is true that you only have one family, but when they treat you as a servant, I would rather disregard them. I would not necessarily seek revenge but I would let them go and live my life happy.

2. I agree with all of you. Love is way more important than money. As Kristen said, at the end of the day if there is no money, what is left in the relationship?

Kelsey M. 13-14 said...

2. I think a lot of girls might say that they will just marry a rich man so they don't have to worry about money and they can just stay home with their children but when it comes down to it you can't be truely happy. I don't think that I could choose social status and wealth over love in the long run beacause like other people have said if the money runs out what do you have left if you don't have love?

Bojana D 11.12 said...

2. You're right. People always do say that... Do you think it works for some people? Can money buy happiness? But without money, there is no happiness

Erika B 13-14 said...

1. I also agree with what Amanda, Megan, and Kristen have said - revenge will continue to circle around until someone decides to be the bigger person and put an end to the nonsense. If both people in the cycle keep believing that they are right, the cycle will never end and they will spend their lives seeking revenge on the other, which is not a good way to live.

Betsy C 1314 said...

To answer the second question, I don't think that I would be able to marry someone that I didn't love, regardless of the person's status or money. I don't think that it would be worth marrying it all if you didn't love the person.

Dana G. 13-14 said...

#2. I would not choose social status over love. People should not care how popular or wealthy you are, but if you are happy.

Leah A 5-6 said...

For the first question I believe that depending on how mature you are the cycle of revenge never ends until someone decides to get over it whether they are right or wrong. I believe that life is too short and you should not spend your life hating a person for whatever they did.

JessieW 11-12 said...

2) I don't think I would ever be able to choose social status and wealth over love. In my opinion, if you really love someone, you wouldn't want to let them go. I'd rather be poor, but happy with the person I love; then rich and regretful for letting my loved one go.

Courtney R 5-6 said...

1) I think the cycle of revenge can easily be ended, with the right person, of course. I think that someone always has the power to just forgive and forget. Even if you don't forgive, I think you should still just forget about it and everything be.
2) No, I wouldn't choose social status over love. I don't think that a marraige could ever work if it is just based on social status. Love has the power to bring people together and if the marraige isn't based off love, I believe it will eventually fall apart in some way.

Justin B. 11-12 said...

1) Of course the cycle of revenge ends, it ends when everyone who wants revenge is dead.

2) Yes, I do believe there is a situation where I would make this choice. This situation would be if my own life or the life of my children was endangered. Love doesn't that much if you are dead or unable to support yourself in the world, at least in my view.

Heather M. 13-14 said...

2) No, I would not choose social status and wealth over love, because love is so much more important than money. If you marry someone just for their wealth, then you're bound to be unhappy for your entire life because you chose to spend your life with someone just due to the fact that they had a lot of money. I believe that love should be the main reason for marriage, and not wealth or social status.

Julie S. 5-6 said...

In answer to the first question, I think in families the cycle of revenge will never end because it is what is being taught. So someone has to go outside of what they know and be a better person. If my family treated me that way I would also try to get revenge on whoever caused it.

Vanessa D. 13-14 said...

1. I don't think the cycle of revenge ever ends because no matter what, people are always going to try to get back at each other. If my family treated me as a servent, I would probably try to seek revenge at first but then realize that it's stupid. I would then forgive them because I feel like grudges are stupid and they only hurt.

Sydney C.13-14 said...

If my family treated me as their servant, I would not lash out or make a scene. I would just walk out at eighteen and never speak to them again. I believe my family missing out on having a relationship with their daughter would be the ultimate revenge. Their lack of appreciation for what they had would be realized once I was gone and they could not do anything about it. I believe their is a classy way to take revenge on someone, simply cut off their negative influence in your life.

tyler k 13-14 said...

Answering question two, i would choose love over status. I think its more important to find someone that you like and can have a emotional connection with.

Alexander C. [13-14] said...

The act of revenge is a never ending cycle. People will fight for what they believe in and they will not stop until they have had the last say in a particular instance. This shows us that some humans have the underlying instinct to never forgive others for prior actions.

KatherineS13-14 said...

2) I do not think that I could ever choose social status and wealth over love. I would rather be single than marry someone that I did not love. I would always choose love over anything else.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

Thread closed