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The Characters of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights

The Characters of Wuthering Heights

At first glance, Wuthering Height shows us conflict between a landlord, Heathcliff, and Mr. Lockwood. Heathcliff, one of the novel’s main characters, is portrayed as an uncompromising, sadistic bully, and produces a desire in Lockwood’s character to find out more about his past. Bronte uses Lockwood’s character to pull in her main narrator, Nelly Dean. Nelly was a first-hand witness to Heathcliff’s story and so proceeds to relate the history, as she remembers it, to Lockwood. It appears very soon, after the start of the story, that Nelly Dean is the protagonist. She appears more than happy to stir the conflict, which goes a long way in keeping the story interesting and moving right along.

Wuthering Heights is set in the “remote moors of Yorkshire” (680), on that “bleak hill-top” where “the earth was hard with a black frost” (686). Almost all the characters in this story have a very frosty, antagonistic side to them and Nelly introduces us to Catherine and Hindley, when they were children, on the eve of Heathcliff’s entry into the family. Nelly appears to make this story-telling as straightforward as possible, but her feelings for Heathcliff are not disguisable.When she made the step from playmate to the children’s nursemaid during the measles episode, her feelings toward Hindley and Catherine hardened and she softened so much toward Heathcliff that “Hindley lost his last ally.” Heathcliff “was the quietest child that ever nurse watched over. The difference between him and the others forced me to be less partial. Cathy and her brother harassed me terribly, he was a uncomplaining as a lamb…” (702). Nelly developed alternate feelings for Catherine: “she put us all past our patience fifty times and oftener in a day.” “She was much too fond of Heathcliff.” “In play she liked, exceedingly to act the little mistress…but I would not bear slapping and ordering; and so I let her know” (704). The class distinction, after the measles, became a clear, hard line: Nelly, on the servant side with Joseph, and Catherine and Hindley on the side of the owners of servants. This further hastened Nelly’s spiteful feelings toward Catherine when Mr. Earnshaw died. Hindley came home with a new bride, and Nelly was physically installed in the servants’ quarters and Heathcliff was installed with the animals in the stables.

In her story up to now Nelly has portrayed herself as a concerned member of the family that has finally been relegated to where she knew she would end up anyway, a servant.

Free Essays: Oedipus Rex and Antigone

Oedipus Rex and Antigone

There is no curse on the house of Oedipus. Because of the many terrible things that happen to the members of Oedipus’s family, a reader might be led to believe that there is such a curse. However, if that person examines the stories of Oedipus Rex and Antigone more closely, he or she will find that the reason so many tragedies happened to Oedipus’s family is not because of some curse, but rather because of one common thread. Each person in the line of Oedipus tries to defy authority in one way or another. Oedipus and Jocasta both defy the authority of the gods by trying to run away from a prophesy of theirs, which results in Jocasta’s death and Oedipus’s dethroning and downfall. Antigone defies the authority of the king by violating his edict, which results in her death. In Ismene’s case, the authority that is defied is that of the moral law, and for that she has to live out her days with guilt and regret.

The authority which Oedipus and Jocasta defy is the same. Both the king and his mother defy the authority of the gods by trying to evade their edict. The edict states that a son would be born to Jocasta who would marry his mother and kill his father, as Oedipus says, “How mating with my mother I must spawn a progeny…having been my father’s murderer.” (OEDIPUS, Oedipus, 44). When Jocasta hears of this, she attempts to kill the baby Oedipus, thus trying to escape the prophesy. Similarly, when Oedipus, as an unmarried adult, hears that he would kill his father, he runs away from his home town, Corinth, never to return. Oedipus and Jocasta both defy the gods’ authority, which in this case comes in the form of running away from a menacing prophesy. In the end, however, Jocasta dies and Oedipus is overthrown and ruined.

Like her parents, Antigone defies a powerful authority. Unlike her parents though, that authority is not of the gods, but rather of a person who thinks he is a god: Creon, Antigone’s uncle, great-uncle, and king. He proclaims that the body of Polyneices, Antigone’s brother who fought against Thebes in war, would be left to rot unburied on the field, “He must be left unwept, unsepulchered, a vulture’s prize….” (ANTIGONE, Antigone, 192). Antigone, enraged by the injustice done to her family, defies Creon’s direct order and buries her brother.

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