Comparison of Wuthering Heights & Madame Bovary on the Conventions of Popular Romantic Fiction.

Topics: Novel, Wuthering Heights, Madame Bovary Pages: 4 (1519 words) Published: April 18, 2013
The novels, Charlotte Bronte's Wuthering Heights and Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary both vary on the conventions of popular romantic fiction.

Wuthering Heights does this in several ways. For example, in the ever standing issue of social standing in novels of Bronte's era. Catherine is of a much higher social standing than Heathcliff, whose social standing was first elevated by his adoption by Catherine father, Mr Earnshaw, and then degraded after the death of Mr Earnshaw by Hindley. This aspect of the novel is relatively conventional. Social standing has always been a big issue for the couples of the fiction of that era. What made the situation between Catherine and Heathcliff different, however, is that they didn't triumph over it as is the convention of other romantic novels, like Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Instead, Catherine married the man who was of better social standing, and who would elevate hers as well, Edgar Linton, instead of Heathcliff, whom she is quoted to saying that it would "degrade [her] to marry Heathcliff now."

Another way, a more significant way, that Wuthering Heights varies on convention is the characters. The characters of Wuthering Heights are far from the conventional characters in romantic fiction. Catherine, as the novel's lead female character, is conventionally beautiful and strong willed, is also conflicted, violent and temperamental, much unlike the conventional heroine, who is usually more moral. Edgar, who is the 'rival' of the story, is a far cry from the conventional rival, who is usually so obviously wrong for the heroine. Edgar Linton, instead, is a well-mannered and virtuous gentleman, who truly loves and cares about Catherine. After her death, he buries her in a spot overlooking the moors, a place he knew Catherine loved, and was even buried beside her after his death. Heathcliff is probably the best example of this point. He is possibly the most unconventional male lead in fiction history. The...
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