This first part of the work would focus on the analyses of the 3 main characters:
Heathcliff, Catherine Earnshaw, and Nelly Dean in Wuthering Heights and
make their individual analysis in a psychoanalysis approach.
Also, the second part would provide a short prolonged story of the Wuthering
Heights to examine the possible involvement of Emily Bronte in the novel.
What possible characters did Emily Bronte possess if we trace from the
novel? What is she in this novel? Basically, the story is my
trial and wild association with Emily Bronte's life into the book she created.
The following is my work. Hopefully you would like it. Also,
I would greatly appreciate for any of your comments and advices on its
insufficiency and mistakes!
in 3 Main Characters of Wuthering Heights
Heathcliff: a suppressed orphan coming into
the suppressing devil
story of Wuthering Heights
Away From Wuthering
(1) What would one say
about the essence of the life? If we condense our lives into one
word, what would that be?
Insecurity means a kind of behavior style of one's not being able to affirm
oneself. And this kind of state sometimes results from feeling inferior
to others (when Heathcliff thought that Catherine married Edgar because
of his money and position), and then usually it will make one produce the
strong feeling of failure. In the example of Heathcliff is that instead
of degenerating himself, he devoted the model of revenge and competition
to the full after holding the power.
(In fact, also we can approach the above in another angle. From the
viewpoint of Alfred Adler's inferiority complex, it's because Heathcliff
had the sense of inferiority that leaded him to the need of being superior
to others. The difference is only what Heathcliff used was just the
negative compensating way --- revenge, to quiet down his resent and fear.)
And the behavior of this kind of model (revenge and competition) originates
from the reproduction of one's own childhood experiences. That is,
when there is only one alternative of intro-relationship model being taught
onto the young Heathcliff, he only knew resorting to one sort of solution.
And when Heathcliff grew up, even knowing his own hatred of this kind of
being-abused relationship, we still can see, the victim turned into the
These unwholesome childhood experiences made his unconsciousness be suppressed
with a lot of emotions: unrevealed childhood secrets (which aren’t shown
in this book), the hatred for being maltreated and his own family position,
and the unproved love.… These strong, primitive passions and desires are
deeply rooted in Heathcliff's heart, just like a seed, waiting for flourishing
We can also say that Heathcliff's revenge on the others is the realization
of a kind of pleasure principle. He thought that by doing this, he
could relieve himself of the pain in the past and his loss of Catherine,
but this just made him become the tool of revenge.
And what is the love of Heathcliff? What kind of transformation and
change had his love for Catherine gone through? The only sustenance
for young Heathcliff (after old Earnshaw died) is Catherine. Except
Catherine, no one was willing to really care about him.
And we also can see that only when Heathcliff and Catherine were together,
that his suppressed emotion was truly unfolded. At that time, Heathcliff's’s
love is company-like, pure and only for an object. But when Catherine's’s
behavior and manners became elegant and lady-like, unlike what she exhibited
before, the feeling of being betrayed aroused in Heathcliff's heart.
The change of his only trust (Catherine) made Heathcliff more uneasy and
isolated. Then his love came to blind and uncontrollable. He
needed to do anything to win her back! For the reason she doesn't
love me is money and position, then I will win her back with money and
Just because Catherine is the only one that he ever paid his sincere feeling,
he would choose painfully to insist on this lunatic love. And with
the death of Catherine, the unfulfilled love still would seize the whole
of Heathcliff --- he still needed to complete the uncompleted love.
But the subject for love was dead, how and what could he do? He only
knew to imagine and simulate the on-going love, and let it destroy him.
But destiny made him see the continuance of his unfulfilled love.
This love now appeared in that of Catherine Linton and Hareton Linton.
By their fulfillment, Heathcliff also freed himself from the prison that
he built for himself, and passed away with his fulfilled love.
Catherine Earnshaw: the double-faced nymph
Catherine Earnshaw, the mysterious woman that grasped Heathcliff's heart
and life tightly, is like a wild and spirited nymph dancing in the chilly
but pure air. She is beautiful, arrogant, exhibiting a kind of ghostly
charming toward Heathcliff. In some ways, she is like the character
Estella in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. They are like rose
with thorns, leaking infatuating fragrance.
And their lovers
are due to get hurt when obsessed, for it seemed only through torturing
and hurting that they could prove the love. But Catherine is not
completely the same as Estella. She really loved Heathcliff! Their love
had been cultivated from their childhood, and it grew and strengthened
day by day.
After Heathcliff’s leaving, her situation is like a plastic flower in the
vase, though externally she seemed to lead a happy and satisfactory life.
Also, her disposition gradually changed from spoilt to strong inside.
Living in the civilized and vulgar surroundings, her sweet and lady-like
side gradually compensated the loss of Heathcliff, also covered her guilt
(Nelly Dean once blamed Catherine that she should take the responsibility
of Heathcliff’s missing). However, the wild side appeared 2 tears
later with Heathcliff’s re-appearing.
For her, seemingly she could grasp the chance of having both Edgar and
Heathcliff again. And this time, she didn't have to worry the position
and possession Heathcliff used to lack of. She could both have both loves
to fulfill for her two different characters! But for Heathcliff, love means
singular, and the only reason for his allowance of Edgar's survival is
Catherine’s disallowance. Catherine's fantasy thus collapsed with Heathcliff's
revenge and her incapability.
Let's advance deeper into the mind of Catherine. Seldom we see her reveal
of insecurity or anxiety. For example, when hurt by dogs, she didn't scream,
she just asked Heathcliff to leave (instead, it's the silent Heathcliff
that madly shouted); when cured in the Thrushcross Grange, her heart didn't
have the space of Heathcliff or fear. She just completely adapted
herself to new environment and different people.
She followed her pleasure principle to live. In her childhood, we see that
she got more satisfaction from Joseph's madness and curse, and enjoyed
in it. But in the Thrushcross Grange, she tried to win other people's praises
to make her happy. And as mentioned above --- “her lovers are due to get
hurt when obsessed"--- Catherine always got in her way to love Edgar and
Heathcliff, for She knew clearly their souls. She knew how to make
them laugh, how to make them cry, how to make them mad, and how to made
both hurt each other to prove their love to her.
Her character is like the taking-overs of Id and ego in turns (Id dominates
more). Also, there's no space for the existence of super-ego in her character
(or we can more boldly hypothesize: the position of superego in this book
is almost covered since morality seemed to degenerate to the most bottom!).
First, let me make an example to explain Id and ego. In chapter 8, when
Catherine instinctually pinched Nelly spitefully on her arms (Catherine's
Id), Nelly screamed out on purpose to make Edgar witness Catherine’s other
side, also to make Catherine embarrassed. Catherine lost control and then
even slapped Nelly and Edgar. Then Catherine tried to use her way
to keep Edgar (Catherine ego).
The appearances of ego appeared mostly during the peaceful period in Thrushcross
Grange. Catherine's Id side was regulated and compensated by her enjoyment
and working on other people’s praises and comfort. But the ego side was
never covered and made disappeared. This part of her human nature, just
like her love toward Heathcliff, won't change as the passage of time; instead,
it will maintain its essence like "the eternal rocks beneath."”.
Catherine's Id side exhibited to the utmost in her final proclamation toward
Heathcliff. Her emotions contained the mixture of most jealousy,
suspicion, violence, and curses. The essence of love didn't change,
but transferred to the form of hatred that would destroy herself and Heathcliff.
Nelly Dean: kindly angel? Or disguised devil?
Though the story is mostly about the relationship of two families, Nelly
Dean, the housekeeper (previously a servant) played quite an important
role. Also, her involvement with the development of Heathcliff and Catherine’s
love was fatally decisive. And from some aspects, we can even say that
she is the cause of all the miseries!
How we perceive the story is from her viewpoint and construction. In this
story, we seldom see she was sick, and the image of her was always energetic.
She’s busy taking care of little Hareton and Catherine Linton, giving advices
to Catherine, doing rough working in many ways, she seemed to be the only
normal and good person in the wild and violent story. She thought of herself
this way, too.
But just because in many situations she was too “ubjective" and couldn’t
perceive her own mistakes, she also thus hid many important clues that
would rescue others from the miserable results. For example, in chapter
9, When Catherine Earnshaw was talking to her about her love toward Edgar
and Heathcliff, Nelly knew Heathcliff was hiding aside and listening, however,
she chose not to let Catherine know and let the misunderstanding occur
b/w Catherine and Heathcliff. Even in the following development when
Heathcliff was carrying out his revenges step by step, she didn't try to
tell him what Catherine told that night. Maybe when Heathcliff realized
Catherine’s love toward him, the hatred of revenge would vanish from his
heart…However, Nelly didn't speak it out.
As what I mentioned earlier, “he position of superego is almost covered
since morality seemed to degenerate to the most bottom in this book", actually
Nelly was playing such a role in this book. She was one of the representatives
of authorities that execute the function of conscience punishment.
We don't’t know her background at all. She seemed to come from nowhere.
And everything couldn't be without her. She was playing such a role,
but she didn't play it well.
She approached things from her perspectives, she couldn't understated the
inner motives of others. Though her judgements were not that instinctive,
however, they're intuitive and lack of careful considerations.
We can see her role was more than just a housekeeper, she was also a friend,
a communicator, a nanny...Almost, if we don't examine carefully, she was
also playing the hostess! After the death of Mr. Earnshaw, the self-identification
for being a hostess was more obvious. But because of her position,
she could only exhibit her influences indirectly. For example, in
chapter 10, when Heathcliff visited Thrushcorss Grange, she just said someone
is visiting Catherine, but after Catherine’s leaving, she told Edgar it’s
Through so many years, this question kept squirming in my heart whenever
I thought of Heathcliff, ruthless? Agony? Or love? No, I can‘t tell,
even now when I am dead.
When Heathcliff finally left his hands off the world, then I began to feel
relieved. Thanks God, Catherine and Hareton could begin their lives
with a hope! But at the same time, I also couldn’t help wondering
what caused the queer smile on his twisted face and where could he go after
his soul left his body.
And now I see. He appeared at one side of the river, a clear and
blue-water river, of which a lady was standing patiently at the other.
That was Catherine Earnshaw. Her feet were originally stone-like,
but after recognizing Heathcliff, she could move gradually. Though the
river was still too wide that they could only stand at the opposite side,
they didn‘t care. The cold and pure wind skimmed over their motionless
faces, they just stared at each other. The moment was like the eternality.
With the oppressed wind, one drop of red blood flew over the river, from
Heathcliff’s hand onto Catherine’s forehead. The river froze inch
by inch, they waited. Step by step, they dragged themselves toward
I hid behind the stone and saw this silently. Heathcliff‘s eyes were
filled with tears, his face were twisted for the releasing of the oppressed
pain, like an un-chained slave. He hugged Catherine tightly and tightly,
searching each part of Catherine’s body violently. The power volcanoed.
"Eighteen years, eighteen years. Do you know everyday you tortured
me with endless pain? You didn‘t come to me once; you just sent them
to make me more suffer. ”
Catherine pushed him away a little bit and said firmly, "I know.
I'm’m waiting. Rather would I choose to live in pain and hatred than
to taste the fragrance of love. And now, the moment is what I waiting
for." Heathcliff grasped her arms wildly and could not help but make
his body trembled, “How could you! Watch me live in hell hopelessly
by myself. I’ve waited one night after another for your spirit to
make me suffer, to ruin my life completely. Oh, Catherine! Please
disappoint me no more. Please don’t leave me isolated! ”
“ "Oh, dear Heathcliff", Catherine reached out her soft yet cold
hands onto the face of Heathcliff, and spoke in a pitiful tone, "No more
would I disappoint you, no more should we be apart. ”
(2) I knew that I
have already been dead now, in a different world without my family, without
my friends near. What lied ahead was my unknown future, but I didn't
have feeling of scare at all, simply felt a cold wind of relief.
I still followed them secretly. But not knowing why I should go after
them made me felt as if I was a manipulated fool. Maybe it’s the
instinct inside that forced me to search for some result. I wasn't
After walking silently for a while, they sat down under a tree, and soon,
they began to speak sweet words to each other, just like the way they were
young. I stared at them, once again letting the jealous fire arouse
and creep through my heart, the fire of long ago. "Maybe I hated Catherine
and fell in love with Heathcliff; maybe I loved Catherine and hated Heathcliff
to seize her; maybe, maybe I was nothing." I was so unsure! Obediently,
I could only let destiny blind my eyes, and wandered like a blind.
They laughed unbridledly, seduced each other like playing games.
And I, hidden behind a stone in the far away, could only let the wind fill
my ears, beat my face, and watched the silent picture of noise.
Suddenly, I couldn’t control myself but run to them impulsively.
Suddenly, I was standing beside them. Suddenly, my feet weakened
and I knelt down, I shed hot tears on my cold face, and they watched me
in surprise. Suddenly…
(3)"Who are you?"
Heathcliff asked me with a surprise. He seemed to be angry, embarrassed,
but also pitiful for me. "What a poor woman!" he must think so.
“ I’m Emily Bronte, -- your creator. I said with my head low, but
still taking a peep at their faces.
Catherine sat in the arms of Heathcliff still, just like her face, without
“ What do you mean by your being my creator?! Who are you actually?“
Heathcliff shouted out madly and glared furiously at me. “Get out
of here! Now I won't allow anyone, anything to bother Catherine and
me, even the smallest trifle shouldn't be allowed! I won’t allow!
Now, get out of here! “
Did I say something wrong? Did I do something wrong? Oh, yes!
You are wrong, Emily. You shouldn’t fall in love with the characters
you created. How dare you desire of asking them to show any sympathy
to you! You are just fooling yourself!
“ I am sorry. I made a mistake.” Then I lost all of my courage.
“ But what I want to tell you is -- never mind. I’m sorry.
I made a mistake.” The energy withdrew from my body as if escaping.
I turned my head, defending my injured self-esteem. I walked faster
and faster, trying to leave away the entire mistake.
(4) Then I don’t see
them anymore. They disappeared from my world like water evaporating
into the air, without any trace. Isn’t all my life a mistake?
Yes, you yourself are a mistake. You used to love someone when you’re
alive, but you just, you just let it flow away from your fingers.
You’re a coward, Emily!
Yes, I am. I still am now, even when being a dead person. It’s
getting cold. The splendid sky projected the shadows of dusk clouds
on the meadow. It’s so beautiful! I think. But one step
ahead, the view changed completely, so did my whole self. All of
a sudden, I was standing at the edge of a cliff. And then, I fell
(5) The story would
come to an end. And the inner voice inside would be in silence, too,
no matter how wildly I used to scream.
It seemed that finally, I know what’s the meaning of my life. When
Catherine Earnshaw died, part of my soul broken into pieces. When
Heathcliff died, my whole soul was torn apart. The feeling of relief
in fact was the death of my last expectation toward the world. Without
any burden also means without any hope. I lived hopelessly for the
rest of my life.
And now, the second chance comes, I still don’t know how to handle.
Living in oppression and being afraid, the road will go on, but I am not
the original Emily anymore. I’m Catherine Earnshaw! Also, I am Heathcliff!
1. Emily Bronte. Wuthering
Heights. Bookman Books LTD. Ed. Graham Handley. Nov. 1993.
2. Joseph Rosner.
translator???. All about psychoanalysis (??????). Sec. ed. ?????. Dec.
reading this novel, we can easily find out that there are a great deal
of similarities and differences among each character. And during classes,
we have shared the characteristics of each character with one another and
have also learned lots from it. As a result, we this group would like to
combine those ideas and hope everyone can be more perceptive towards every
character inside this novel. Those points are as follows:
Catherine & Cathy:
Both of them were educated, very brave and full of energy. Catherine liked
the nature for she thought she could escape from Hindley and Joseph. She
felt more alive as she was inside the moor. As for Cathy, she was very
curious about the outside world because she was almost kept inside the
Thrushcross Grange by her father. And as to both of their marriages, they
didn't’t marry their own husband out of their love to them. As to Catherine,
she married Edgar for she wanted to help Heathcliff or for she was afraid
of leading a misery life if she just married Heathcliff who wasn't in the
high position and had no money. And as to Cathy, she was forced to marry
her husband, Linton by Heathcliff for he wanted to get the property from
Edgar… Perhaps both of them couldn't find someone more trustful or kind,
as a result, they would sometimes tell out what they thought or what they
felt towards Nelly though they didn't like Nelly at times. Besides these,
there were some differences between them. Cathy was more earnest, real
and thoughtful while Catherine was very wild and selfish and liked to tell
the lies. And according to Nelly's description, Catherine was much wilder,
just like a wild goat and Cathy was more like a tame sheep and so on…
They two were ill- educated and they didn't receive the love from
their own parents. When Heathcliff was young, Hindley always tortured him.
And as for Haraton, he was always disagreeable by his own father so that
he liked Heathciff even more than his father. Hence, maybe it could be
a very important possibility for them to become so cocky and so mean since
they felt too inferior at their childhood. However, as for Heathcliff,
he didn't know how to change. Although he tried once, he gave up
at last. But Haraton knew how to change himself into more gentle way for
he accepted Cathy's teaching him to know the letters. Besides, the hatred
and the purpose of Heathcliff towards revenge on people seemed much fiercer
while Haraton wouldn't take revenge on people that he didn't like. And
as for Heathcliff, he would want to get whatever he wanted…
# Edgar &
They two were blond and educated but weak. They were wimps at times for
they didn’t know how to protect their beloved family from being hurt and
didn't have their own thought on something. Both of they were very proud
of their great knowledge toward books, and with this they were easily to
despise those who weren't educated, such as Heathcliff and Haraton…
# Nelly &
Inside this novel, they were narrators. Nelly experienced the story that
she was telling thoroughly, but Lackwood was a guy just re-tell the story
from Nelly. Both of them were getting subjective once for a while because
they would easily assumed what would happen next and what would the character
they were telling think about. Except for their prejudice towards someone,
I think they two were great story-tellers.
Joseph & Nelly:
Both of them were the servants in Wuthering Height at the very beginning.
Then Nelly became the servant inside the Thrushcross Grange for Catherine
married Edgar Linton. They would serve their masters properly though they
weren't willing to serve. As for Joseph, he liked to scold people by the
terms of Bible. What he said was all " religious language" and what he
lived was all followed to Bible.. and about Nelly, she would sometimes
scorned people behind them and most of time, she would just expressed what
she thought and what she wanted to show. I think Nelly was more directive