Wuthering Heights

The Problem of Split Personalities in Wuthering Heights

Note: Oxford University Press Version of Wuthering Heights used for this paper

In Bronte's novel, Wuthering Heights, a person has the capacity to attain happiness only if his external state of being is a true and accurate manifestation of his internal state of being. The "double character" which Catherine "adopts" in order to simultaneously maintain her relationship with the high brow Linton family and her low class friend, Heathcliff (66), is also manifested by most of the other main characters in the novel, though the split is usually less obvious in the other characters. It is less obvious because rather than being split between two contrasting external states (only one of Catherine's reflects her internal state), the characters are usually split between their internal experiences of the world and their external facades. For all of the characters, the possibility of happiness depends on a consistency between their internal and external ways of being. Catherine, in her inability to attain happiness, is the most clear example of this in the novel, but the novel's other three crucial characters: Heathcliff, Cathy (II), and Hareton, also demonstrate this.

Catherine and Heathcliff's relationship...

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