Marriage: A tool in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights
Marriage is a tradition that has been carried out almost as long as civilized society has been in existence. It is a vow to love another person until the end of life on earth. The role of marriage has changed a lot over time with its purpose and rituals constantly being altered. The novel Wuthering Heights takes place in the 1800’s, and the role of marriage is a lot different than in the 21st century. Today one may say marriage is taken more lightly than back during that time period because divorce is much more widely accepted today. This difference has a lot to do with the role of property and gender in marriage. In the 21st century marriage is much more equal among men and women; including property and power. In the 1800’s, men had a lot more power than women. Abbie Cory states,
“Access to political, social, and economic power and resources was allotted along a hierarchical arrangement whereby upper and middle-class men dominated, while the access of women to such resources was much more limited and was achieved largely through their relationship with men” (1).
Therefore many times women married in order to rise in social status and for power. In the novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, marriage is treated more as a tool for the transfer of property and power throughout the story rather than as a means of commitment to love.
In this story the property is passed from person to person. There is no stable owner of the land, and this has everything to do with marriage. In the story Heathcliff, takes advantage of marriage in order to attain land. The land he wants is Thrushcross Grange because it belongs to Edgar Linton, the man who married Catherine, the woman he loves. To conquer this land, Heathcliff fools young Cathy, Edgar’s daughter and only heir, into loving his son Linton. In Wuthering Heights, young Cathy says, “Mr. Heathcliff let me go home! I promise to marry Linton…Why should you wish to...