Dickens & Bronte Keeping The Term Paper

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Cathy is, although temporarily lowered to a servant when Lockwood first meets her, was brought up from birth by her father to be a refined young girl, and Hareton is the rightful owner of the estate he inherits, not a true orphan and stable boy like Heathcliff. The shift in the individual and personal past cannot change society in Bronte -- perhaps because Bronte's tale is a romantic tale, embracing both female and male experience, and this acknowledges the limits of gender, of both partners in a relationship. In contrast, Scrooge's initially rejection of human kindness is solely told in male-directed, economic terms -- by providing a turkey and medical care for Bob Cratchit's family, Scrooge becomes a good man. Scrooge is more powerful, financially, even if he lacks a heart socially, than Catherine or Cathy is, as both are women who are possessed of an estate only through patrilineal inheritance.

The men of both novels use their wealth and social power to dominate others. Scrooge can contemplate cutting short Bob Cratchit's vacation and Heathcliff is adept at manipulating...

...

But despite this gender-based economic power in Bronte's present, and Scrooge's past, present and future, both males are powerless in the face of spiritual feminine influences from their past -- in the form of Scrooge's beloved, and Heathcliff's haunting by Catherine, a figure more powerful in death than she was in her short life. Scrooge overcomes this to change. But although the younger generation of Wuthering Heights is propelled into the future, a future beyond the beginning of the frame tale in a way that "A Christmas Carol" is not, Heathcliff remains stuck in the past, happy only when he is rejoined with Cathy. Scrooge can accept the loss of his past self, and resolve to move on -- but in Bronte, the future of the self and the central person's character does not change, there is only the propulsive energy to reform in the hearts of the future generation and union of Cathy and Hareton. Heathcliff dies, seeking Cathy in the beyond, with no real forgiveness in his heart or desire to pass his wealth on, which he does, helplessly onto the new couple.

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