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Wuthering Heights: Sibling RIvalry

By bere_andrade1996 Feb 02, 2014 633 Words
Sibling Rivalry in Wuthering Heights
Within the Wuthering Heights children and the Thrushcross Grange children, existed a sibling rivalry that tore families apart and ruined the lives of two generations, because what started off as mere competition turned into pure spite. It began in Wuthering Heights with Hindley and Catherine fighting for their father’s love; however, neither of them obtained it and Mr. Earnshaw looked elsewhere than home to find his prize child. Mr. Earnshaw introduces a new member to the family, a homeless gypsy-looking boy, whom he makes the apple of his eye. So here it begins. Not only does Heathcliff’s arrival stir up the Earnshaw family, but it slowly intertwines around the Linton family until neither of the families can get rid of him. Hindley begins to feel a form of rivalry with Heathcliff right from the start. He does not understand why his father has gone through the trouble of finding a son out on the streets when he had one at home waiting for him. Hindley is marked with the aura that his father does not love him and that he is not good enough for his father ever since Heathcliff showed up. Hindley begins to make Heathcliff’s life miserable, as to mark his territory and belittle the gypsy. “So, from the very beginning he bred bad feeling in the house,” (38). He would go against everything Heathcliff wanted and awaited the day of his father’s death to put the savage where he belonged- with the servants. “He has been blaming our father for treating Heathcliff too liberally; and swears he will reduce him to his right place,” (22). Even right before his death and after he has lost everything to Heathcliff, Hindley promises to never let Heathcliff win. His heart dies full of hatred and spite for his adopted brother, Heathcliff. The Lintons in Thrushcross Grange have their fair share of sibling rivalry. They do not give off the sense that they are as dysfunctional as the Earnshaws, but they do have rivalry. The Linton rivalry begins in childhood with petty fights as the one over the dog in Chapter six: “Edgar stood on the hearth weeping silently, and in the middle of the table sat a little dog…we understood they had nearly pulled in two between them,” (48). That is a harmless example of course and most families with young children endure quarrels as these. The bigger fights and the real sibling rivalry begin when the Earnshaws and Heathcliff inject their poison to separate the Lintons. When Hindley oppresses Heathcliff to the level of servant, he forces Catherine to look somewhere else for a husband. Conveniently, Catherine finds Edgar Linton as her husband and this initiates Heathcliff’s desire to crush the Lintons as well as Hindley. Heathcliff then turns Isabella Linton into his puppet and elopes with her just to make Edgar Linton’s life miserable. Isabella Linton does not listen to her brother or her new sister-in-law’s warnings about Heathcliff. The rebelliousness that comes with being the youngest overtakes her and she becomes Heathcliff’s newest tool in his ploy. “You are welcomed to torture me to death for your amusement, only allow me to amuse myself a little in the same style,” (112). It is Hindley and Catherine Earnshaw’s actions as well as Heathcliff and the Lintons’ actions that generate conflict for their children- Hareton, Young Cathy, and Linton all inherent their parents’ problems. It is not until the death of all the original siblings that their rivalry is put to rest and allows for a happy union between Cathy and Hareton. Both these characters did not allow themselves to be sucked into the hatred circle that their parents lived in; therefore, breaking the sibling rivalry and accepting a new beginning.

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