Friday, September 17, 2010

Forbidden Love?

Much of the first 16 chapters of Wuthering Heights centers around a description of the love between Catherine and Heathcliff.  Nelly, the principle narrator of the novel, seems to condemn them for the passion between them. Their love is sometimes portrayed as immoral and brutal according to Nelly.  Their love seems to mirror another theme in the story; moors.  After looking up the definition to this word that appears so often in the story, I came to this conclusion.  Moors are basically tangled grassland, usually very hilly.  They are much like a marsh or swamp area.  Many times they are characterized as dark, wet, gloomy, tangled areas that do not sustain much life.  This comes to characterize Heathcliff and Catherine's love.  It is complicated, tangled, and stagnant.  I think that this is why Nelly condemns their relationship for much of the first 16 chapters.  She, like the reader, realizes that it will never work although they do share an obvious love for each other.  

It was also interesting that moors come into play when the author discusses Catherine's grave.  Catherine is buried "in a corner of the kirkyard, where the wall is so low that heath and bilberry plants have climbed over it from the moor."  She, in death, like in life is characterized by the tangled, dark and gloomy moor.  This is apparent by the placement of her grave and somewhat scorned love with Heathcliff.  


  1. I love how you compare the moors to Cathy and Heathcliff's love. It is something I also thought about when I first read this story. Both Cathy and Heathcliff love the moors, and even as children sneak out of studies to go play in them when they can, and later on in their lives they continually go back to the moors.
    To me also it seemed they also helped describe the love between Cathy and Heathcliff, however I thought of the moors and their imagery as the gap in their love. What I mean by this is that they are craggy, cold, and depressing because the two lovers could not be together. They have a soul mate connection, however because of the events in their lives, and the decisions they choose to make, their love is never truly realized. Instead it is crushed. Neither of the two are ever truly happy, because they are not together.
    I hope that makes sense. I know what I am trying to say and explain, however I am not quite sure how to put it into words. Great blog though!

  2. This is a really interesting way to think about their relationship with each other and I completely agree with it. They are both dark and gloomy and their relationship really didn't have a chance to last because of it.