Wuthering Heights: Conflict Between Savage and Civilised
Topics: Wuthering Heights / Pages: 7 (1617 words) / Published: Aug 24th, 2013

The conflict between nature and civilization in Wuthering Heights

As Charlotte Bronte mentioned on sister Emily’s Wuthering Heights: ”…She did not know what she had done;” creative artists “work passively under dictates [they] neither delivered nor could question.”

I can say that Emily Bronte knew what she was doing when approaching the issues of the Wuthering Heights. The antagonic play between nature and culture in Bronte’s vision were of great impact at the time and I could say that this is a reason why Wuthering Heights is a literary masterpiece.

The Romantic elements come together and offer us beautiful and intense images. First, the “strange” story: non-normative, original, powerful, imaginative. Then the characters, intense, passionate, violent – we can easily notice the emotional excess. Then another romantic element, the super-natural brought to light by the anti-rational and by the primitive folk legends. We also must note the internal and external conflicts: nature vs. civilization, wild vs. tame, natural impulses vs. artificial restraint.

In order to understand the conflict between nature and civilization in Wuthering Heights, we must first analyze the main characters, representing in their own way the nature and the civilized world. The Earnshaw family comes together with nature when the Lintons are a symbol for the culture.
A representative member of the Earnshaw family is Catherine. She is beautiful and charming, but she is never as civilized as she pretends to be. In her heart she is always a wild girl playing on the moors with Heathcliff. She regards it as her right to be loved by all, and has an unruly temper. Heathcliff usually calls her Cathy and, very interesting, Edgar usually calls her Catherine.
Heathcliff is another distinct member of the Earnshaw family. He is of unknown descent, and he seems to represent the wild and natural forces which often seem amoral and dangerous for society. His devotion, almost inhuman, to Catherine is the



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