Theme Of Self Alienation In Wuthering Heights And Frankenstein

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Obsession and Self-Alienation in Wuthering Heights and Frankenstein One of the most prevalent themes in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein is that of obsession. Obsession is the restless driving force by which the characters in Wuthering Heights and Frankenstein are taken down the path of self-alienation. In Wuthering Heights two, very closely related, obsessions are a driving force behind the events that take place throughout the novel. Firstly the obsessive love between Catherine and Heathcliff. Catherine claims that her love for Heathcliff “resembles the eternal rocks beneath –a source of little visible delight, but necessary” (73). She tells her housekeeper “Nelly, I am Heathcliff –he’s always, always in my…show more content…
At the beginning of the novel, Catherine is described as a wild and rebellious child. However, that changes after her stay with the Linton’s. When she returns from her stay her “manners were much improved,” and “instead of a wild, hatless little savage jumping into the house…there lighted from a handsome black pony a very dignified person, with brown ringlets falling from the cover of a feathered beaver, and a long cloth habit which she was obliged to hold up with both hands that she might sail in” (46). Catherine was tempted by the way of life the Linton’s lived and, to fit in, has concealed her wild and rebellious nature. She confides in her housekeeper that she loves Heathcliff, but can’t marry him because it would “degrade” her (71). While Catherine does have some affection for Edgar, she does not marry him out of love, she marries him because he is rich. Her love for Edgar is not natural, it is pretended. When Catherine falls ill, there’s a certain moment that she believe she is being haunted because she does not recognize herself in the mirror. When Nelly manages to convince her that the image in the mirror is her own, Catherine is horrified. “At the point when Catherine realizes the woman in the mirror is herself…she recognizes just how profound her self-alienation…can be” (Ablow 62). She realizes that by marrying Edgar she has alienated herself and concealed her own nature in order to become his

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