Social Norms In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

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“I raise up my voice- not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back”
-Malala Yousafazi Malala Yousafazi is a courageous you girl, who lived in an area controlled by the Taliban. The Taliban is against females attending school and receiving and education, yet Yousafazi still attended school, while advocating her right to education and speaking out about the Taliban. Because of her advocation of girls right to education, Malala was shot, yet she still continues to stand up for the right of education for girls. (explian Malala’s story) Similar to Malala Yousafazi Emily Bronte, throughout her novel Wuthering Heights, gives a voice to women who were considered second class citizens
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Catherine Linton, a character who does not fit the description of a proper lady, is often disruptive and wild, depicted as a woman who freely voiced her opinions, a trait not often associated with females during this time period. She defied social norms by befriending Heathcliff as well, she knows that it is socially unacceptable for her to be friends with a boy, who has no place in society, yet she is an independent thinker and becomes friends with him. As she grows older Catherine is often characterized by her Catherine is characterized by her “persistent and disruptive commentary: 'her tongue was always going—singing, laughing and plaguing everybody . . . a wild, wick slip she was . . . ' (Brontë, p. 51)” (Barreca 15), Bronte once again portrays Catherine as a wild girl, in contrast to the gender norm, that women should keep quite, and their opinions to…show more content…
Cathy Earnshaw like her mother, Catherine Linton, is also portrayed as a strong, independent, empowered. While Catherine Linton was more outward in her portrayal and demonstration of these traits, Cathy Earnshaw is more inward, silently defying social and gender norms while portraying these traits. She is both similar and different to her mother. Unlike her mother she was raised as a proper lady, but she still “had faults to foil her gifts. A propensity to be saucy was one; and a perverse will, that indulged children invariably acquire”(p. 207), despite this difference both still acquired the same traits. She showed a different type of defiance towards the social norms than Catherine, Cathy knew when she could not change the situation but instead inwardly defied through her thoughts such as saying: "But I 'll not do anything, though you should swear your tongue out, except what I please!” (p. 234). Cathy also developed many of these traits through her relationship with Linton, growing more empowered in that relationship, becoming outwardly defiant much like her mother. Her empowerment carries on the rest of the story even after Linton dies, when she is stuck in Wuthering Heights with Heathcliff, and is prominent through the entirety of the
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