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Wuthering Heights: Key Skills English Assignment Essay, Research Paper

In chapter nine, Isabella and Heathcliff

went back to Wuthering Heights, and Isabella wrote a letter to Nelly describing

what she had encountered upon moving into the Heights. ????? Isabella does not react positively to her

new home; she is very unhappy and regrets wholeheartedly her marriage to

Heathcliff. Although she attempts to stand up the characters of Hareton and

Joseph, she eventually cannot cope because of her upbringing; all her life she

was waited on. Isabella depends on the strength of men, which is illustrated by

the fact that she becomes weak only weak Heathcliff treats her cruelly and she

is rejected by Edgar. ????? The way she describes the house seems to

reflect the people who inhabit it. Currently living in the house when Isabella

arrived were Joseph, Hareton and Hindley. There was no housekeeper or maid to

wait on the master. She described the kitchen as a "dingy, untidy

hole". This indicates it must have changed since she had last seen it,

when Nelly worked there. It suggests that when the women, Nelly and Catherine,

moved out, the house lost its beauty. Also the kitchen has connotations of

being a very female environment. She describes Hareton as "a ruffianly

child" and "dirty in garb". This seems to represent what had

happened to the Heights. "Ruffianly" conveys that the child has no

discipline, and perhaps suggesting that the house has little order now. Also

his dirty appearance was mirrored in how she described the Heights. Isabella comments

on Joseph’s rudeness, "? thinking him deaf, yet highly disgusted at his

(Joseph’s) rudeness." This was after Isabella had enquired about if he

would accompany her. This shows how Joseph was very cold and uninviting, much

like the Heights. Isabella entered through the kitchen, rather than the front

door, which seems to suggest that the Heights were not very inviting. The

master of Wuthering Heights, Hindley, had since gone made since the death of

his wife, Frances. His mental state and appearance all mirror that state of

Wuthering Heights. His appearance is described as "a tall, gaunt man,

without neckerchief, and other wise extremely slovenly; his features were lost

in masses of shaggy hair that hung on his shoulders?". The fact he does

not have a neckerchief shows that he does not conform to how the typical male

should have appeared in the 18th Century. This also represents the

way Wuthering Heights has its own conventions and is a hegemony. Both when she

describes Hareton and Hindley, she mentions the way that have Catherine’s eyes.

Particularly when she describes Hindley, she says: "? and his eyes, too, were like a ghostly

Catherine’s, with all their beauty annihilated." It is interesting that

she uses the word "ghostly" as later on in the story, Heathcliff talks

about how Catherine is haunting him as a ghost. What it could also mean though,

is that only a small part of Catherine remains in Wuthering Heights, and what

was once her has faded away. Life within the Heights has changed in this manner

as well. ????? Isabella’s feelings about Wuthering

Heights heavily contrast those of Catherine. Where as Catherine has happy

childhood memories of living there, Isabella only sees the pain and the misery

and the violence that she experienced. Catherine may have had such better

memories of Wuthering Heights than Isabella because their characters differed

so much: Catherine was wild and passionate; Isabella was homely and a

romanticist. Life, for Catherine, was a lot different. When she was growing up

she was given an education by her father. Hareton, however, who lived in the

Heights later on, was denied of this. Also Catherine was around people she

could talk to and confide in, like Nelly; Catherine confided in Nelly about her

engagement to Edgar. Isabella has no one she can talk to when she arrives at

the Heights because there is no maid or housekeeper. However, it is Nelly that

Isabella chooses to write to, showing that she is trying to create a link to

Thrushcross Grange, where Nelly is living. Catherine and Isabella both have

different experiences of Heathcliff. Heathcliff treated Isabella in a very

violent and cruel way. Catherine remembers Heathcliff as her playmate when she

was young, someone that she would be with on the moors and Heathcliff never

treated her in that way. They were both experiencing Heathcliff before he

started his revenge and afterwards.


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