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This case study takes into consideration three main themes; the power of love that never change, social class and conflict of nature and culture. Love is a variety of feelings, attitudes and states which range from pleasure to interpersonal relationship. The power of love is strong in the sense that it becomes impossible to change. On social class, it is a fact that it is does not depend solely on the amount of wealth that one has, it also depend on the source of income, family connections, birth and roles of the person in the society. In most societies, the three primary social classes that exist are the working class, the middle class and the elite class. On conflicts between nature and culture, it is a fact that there are always conflicts between culture and nature. This is because people belonging to different culture always do things that contradict with the requirement of nature leading to conflicts.
Taking the above three themes into consideration, Wuthering Heights is one of the best film which portrays these themes. It is a love story that encompasses social class as well as conflicts between nature and culture (Wuthering Heights 2013). For the purpose of portraying these themes, the film uses a lot of symbolism, starting off with the present and then going back to the past. The film is relevant to a class situation as it include Genre, style, symbolism, iconography, ideologies and the role of female vs. male in the society.
In Wuthering Heights, the power of a love that does not change, social class and the conflict of nature and culture play a significant role in reflecting on the issues that affect the modern society (Wuthering Heights 2013). It is from this film that the meaning of true love, social class and conflict of nature and culture come out clearly.
Theoretical / Conceptual Framework
Released in 1939, Wuthering Heights is American dramatic film. The film was an adaptation of Emily Bronte's novel bearing the same title. This film involves a love story between Heathcliff and Catherine. The setting of this film is against restrictions as well as social convections of the British life of the 19th century. The film is a haunting story of romance turned tragic because of Catherine, its heroine. This is because she lets her obsessions with wealth as well as social status win out over her deep love for Heathcliff, a man raised up from a boyhood in a humble family home (Wuthering Heights 2013).
During their childhood, Catherine comes to love Heathcliff quickly despite his skin color (Lloyd 2009). The love between the two grows rapidly and they become inseparable. They spend their days playing together on the moors. Heathcliff then becomes an orphan and he finds himself treated with cruelty by Linton as he works all day in the fields. Irrespective of this mistreatment, his love for Catherine continues to grow. Unfortunately, a dog bites Catherine making her to stay at Grange for five weeks in order to recuperate. During this period, she becomes infatuated with Edgar, making her relationship with Heathcliff get more complicated (Lloyd 2009).
The desire for Catherine for attainment of social status forces her to become engaged to Edgar. Despite her intense love for Heathcliff. This is because Edgar Lincon comes from a healthy background making Catherine think that he is a perfect match, taking social class into consideration. This action makes Heathcliff feel alienated and he makes the decision of running away from Wuthering Heights to evade this reality (Lloyd 2009). After three years, he returned to Wuthering Heights and finds that both Catherine and Edgar are already in marriage.
Catherine decision of marrying Edgar makes Heathcliff set about seeking a revenge on all those who have wronged him. He then acquires mysterious wealth which makes him inherit Thrushcross Grange through marrying Isabella Linton. He treats Isabella cruelly and he even continues to treat his son even worse after Isabella dies (Lloyd 2009). All this is a form of revenge of what Catherine did to him. Thirteen years later, he meets Catherine on the moor and even despite what Catherine had done to him; he still feels that he love her dearly. Everything that he sees reminds her of her and he begins speaking to her ghost. After sometimes, both Heathcliff and Catherine die (Antrobus 2009).
Considering this film, it is evident that the presence of moors portrays symbolism. They symbolize wilderness, as they are wild, untamed, and vibrant but very beautiful. It is impossible to cultivate moorland (Lloyd 2009). Therefore, moors symbolize the wild threat posed by nature.
Case Study Description
Power of Love that Never Changes
In Wuthering Heights love takes many forms. Primarily there is love which is true and the one that is selfish does not pay attention to feelings, needs and claims of others. Several characters in Wuthering heights (Lloyd 2009) show these two types of love. Heathcliff and Catherine depict true love whereas the coupleism of Frances and Hindley, Cathy and Hareton among others show love of ill will and what is of great concern is the lovers' own needs and feelings. Love that never changes comes into reality when we look at Heathcliff and Catherine. Although this is the case there are some characters that refer Heathcliff's feelings as passionate perversity and perverted passion. We can look at the love between Heathcliff and Catherine (Wuthering Heights 2013) in several ways.
In the first view of their love we can consider Heathcliff and Catherine as soul mates (Lloyd 2009). This is because their love is based on a higher spiritual plane and above they an inward bond between their hearts that that irresistibly draws them together. Heathcliff repeatedly refers Catherine as his soul. Day Lewis views Heathcliff and Catherine as an essential separation of soul, the pain of two souls that are struggling to unite (Lloyd 2009). Clifford Collins refer to the love between Heathcliff and Catherine as a life-force relationship. This is because their love is profound and to add to this Catherine accepts Heathcliff the way he is. Catherine's feeling for Edgar who has a superficial appeal is quite different with her profound love for Heathcliff. Catherine and Heathcliff describe their affection in impersonal terms this is because feelings of such nature cannot be fulfilled in any relationship.
Secondly, their love attempts to break the bonds of self and fuse with the other to create a whole. This motivates Heathcliff to absorb Catherine's body into his and for them to dissolve into another so that Edgar cannot distinguish Catherine from Heathcliff. Love provides protection against fear of death in the Wuthering Heights. Love is also depicted as an addiction. An addictive love breaks the boundaries of identity and combines with the lover into one identity. Love addicts looks for purpose and meaning in people that are similar to them. Catherine calls her relationship with Heathcliff as a source of little happiness but very crucial (Wuthering Heights 2013).
Class struggle is a major theme in Wuthering Heights. Class determines occupation, marriage, hatred and financial situation in Wuthering Heights. This brings about breaking of hearts, marriages without love and hugely affects emotional and physical well-being of every character. Heathcliff, raised in a middle class surrounding with the earns haws, shifts to a working class when Hindley takes custody of him. On the other hand Lintons are a higher class as they own a lot of property.
The continuous downgrading of Heathcliff by Lintons and Hindley leads Him to the loss of Catherine. Catherine's actions are brought about by her realization that she is an upper class and therefore she cannot marry Heathcliff because he is working class (Lloyd 2009). Catherine tries as much as possible to change her class by staying with the Lintons and by rejecting Heathcliff. Because of this discrimination that Heathcliff receives due to his low social class, he develops low self-esteem and he becomes a defensive person.
Conflict of Nature and Culture
Wuthering Heights is viewed as a form of escapism, strange mists of the Yorkshire farmers, as an escape from reality into isolation and as the searing affection between heathcliff and Catherine absolute. However, Wuthering Heights goes beyond its atmospheric setting by exploring complexity in family relationships and restrictions that are found in Victorian society (Antrobus 2009). Wuthering Heights dramatize and explore the disagreements between society and human nature, between culture and nature (Lloyd 2009).
Emily Bronte applies the situation of Wuthering Heights to stand for civilization and nature where the entire heinous are committed. The vicious acts come into light when Hindley abuses Heathcliff. Wuthering Heights is inextricably connected to violence and aggression (Antrobus 2009). This is seen when Catherine decides to let go the relationship between her and Heathcliff because her social class that constantly nags her to join Linton. Here the conflict comes into place where Catherine is in love in that something that is natural, beyond the control of Catherine and she…[continue]
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