View of Love and Sex in "Wuthering Heights"

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“Wuthering Heights” accurately reflects many of the attitudes associated with love and sex in the Victorian Era. With reference to appropriately selected parts of the novel and relevant external, contextual information on Victorian attitudes to love and sex, give your response to the above view.

The Victorian era when “Wuthering Heights” was written and first published was a time when love and romance and true emotion were the antithesis of reasons to marry. Sexual love was frowned upon greatly and no woman should ever have had sex outside of marriage. Sex was something that was solely for procreating and nothing else. Although, it was considered that a man could not control his animal instincts and so if he had sex outside of marriage of ever cheated on his wife, it would not damage his social desirability or impair his reputation on society. Marriage in Victorian times was for a place in high society and financial stability and children. This is shown in Wuthering Heights when Cathy marries Edgar Linton instead of Heathcliff because she knows it would degrade her to marry Heathcliff. This is also very common in Victorian times; people were not to marry below their own class. They would marry above or in the same class as themselves. Victorian literature always focused on idealised representation of people who use work hard, perseverance and love to win out in the end. Good deeds will always be rewarded and wrongdoers will be punished. All novels were very moralistic and usually had a good social message or comment on society, for example, Oliver Twist. Victorian novels tended to be melodramatic, including features such as pathetic fallacy, exaggerated emotions, extreme passion and unrealistic characters. Victorian novels are also very long, with lots of characters, plots and intertwining sub plots. Wuthering Heights is very different from this in that it is set in a very isolated scene with a small number of characters. The relationship between Cathy and...
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