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Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte And Maurice By E.M. Forster

1894 words - 8 pages

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and Maurice by E.M. Forster

An interesting plot isn’t always enough to make a novel a good piece
of literature. It’s the believability of the characters that ensnares
the reader into the world that the author has created. As characters
develop, so do their interactions with one another. In Wuthering
Heights by Emily Bronte and Maurice by E.M. Forster, each novel’s main
characters have relationships which shape the story with their
uniquely definable characteristics. The relationships between
Catherine and Heathcliff, as well as Maurice and Alec both say
different things about the fundamental nature of a relationship, the
validity of union between different classes, and the idea that “love
conquers all.”

Whether we consider the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff
in Wuthering Heights to be successful is not the focus of this
discussion, instead it is the nature of their relationship. Ever
since childhood the two were best of friends and shared a very close
bond. Illustrating this, in Chapter 9 Catherine says, “It would
degrade me to marry Heathcliff, now; so he shall never know how I love
him…because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made
of, his and mine are the same, and Linton’s is as different as a
moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.” (page 80) The
relationship between Edgar and Catherine is not one based on “true
love”, unlike her relationship with Heathcliff. The definition of
“true love” is something which could spawn its own thesis, but in this
example we can take it to mean that Catherine’s relationship with
Heathcliff contains a more real and compassionate component than her
relationship with Edgar. Curiously, her statement negates the common
notion that opposites attract. Despite their apparent and obvious
differences, Catherine claims that she and Heathcliff are one person,
and this oneness is what makes their relationship genuine. Odd,
considering the very nature of any heterosexual relationship is on
some basic level based on differences which complement one another.

To contrast this relationship, we have the pairing of two young men,
Maurice and Alec. Whereas the relationship between the two main
characters in Wuthering Heights was based on an emotional bond with no
mention of physical activity aside from innocent childhood play, the
relationship of Maurice and Alec is comprised of a much less developed
emotional connection and a more pronounced physical component. In a
conversation with Clive, Maurice says, “I have shared with Alec…All I
have. Which includes my body.” (page 243) Clive shows signs of
disgust and disapproval when told this. We have no explicit evidence
that Clive and Maurice ever had a strongly physical connection, as
their relationship was mainly comprised of...

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