Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dynamic Character

"Earnshaw was not to be civilized with a wish, and my young lady was no philosopher, and no paragon of patience; but both their minds tending to the same point - one loving and desiring to esteem, and the other loving and desiring to be esteemed - they contrived in the end to reach it." (page 389)

With so many flawed characters to keep track of - Cathy, Heathcliff, Edgar, Isabella... - I started to wonder if there were going to be any significant dynamic changes in anyone. When Cathy and Edgar's daughter, Catherine, was manipulated into moving to Wuthering Heights, she originally changed for the worse. I was disappointed because I thought that the one happy character that I had been able to count on throughout the novel had finally come to her end and would eventually allow Heathcliff to break down her spirit. Fortunately, she continued to defy him and never departed from her fiery and indignant countenance. However, the most surprising aspect to Catherine's character was her behavior towards Hareton. At one time she sobbed at the idea that she was even related to such an "ignorant ruffian", but by the end she is educating him and it is clear that she adores him. Ellen tells Lockwood how they came to fall in love and how she decided to educate him so that he could not longer be stuck in ignorance. Somehow, against all odds, Catherine underwent a complete transformation and developed an unexpected friendship with Hareton. I was happy for him because I thought he was one of the misunderstood characters earlier in the novel. Personally, I liked this unexpected twist.

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