Wuthering Heights

Relationship between Family (Siblings)

Provide an explanation of how the theme operates within the novel. Use complete sentences.

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Sibling relationships

Sibling relationships are unusually strong in the Earnshaw and Linton families. Indeed, the novel's most prominent relationship––the love between Catherine and Heathcliff––begins when the two are raised as siblings at Wuthering Heights. It is never entirely clear whether their love for each other is romantic or the love of extremely close siblings; although Catherine expresses a desire to marry Heathcliff, they are never shown having sex and their union seems more spiritual than physical. After Catherine's death, Heathcliff gets revenge on Edgar for marrying Catherine by encouraging Isabella to marry him and then mistreating her. Given that Emily Brontë is thought to have had no friends outside of her own family (although she was very close to her brother Branwell and her sisters Anne and Charlotte), it is perhaps unsurprising that close sibling relationships are a driving force in her only novel.