Presentation on theme: "The second generation in Wuthering Heights. The first generation Catherine is similar and yet less of a reconciling figure than her daughter seen in the."— Presentation transcript:
The first generation Catherine is similar and yet less of a reconciling figure than her daughter seen in the second generation "That's a turkey's," she murmured to herself, "and this is a wild duck's, and this is a pigeon's. Ah, they put pigeons' feathers in the pillows; no wonder I couldn't die! Let me take care to throw it on the floor when I lie down. And here is a moor-cock's; and this -- I should know it among a thousand -- it's a lapwing's. Bonny bird, wheeling over our heads in the middle of the moor. It wanted to get to its nest, for the clouds had touched the swells, and it felt rain coming. This feather was picked up from the heath; the bird was not shot. We saw its nest in the winter, full of little skeletons. Heathcliff set a trap over it, and the old ones dare not come. I made him promise he'd never shoot a lap-wing after that, and he didn't. Yes, here are more! Did he shoot my lapwings, Nelly? Are they red, any of them? Let me look." - Chapter 12-The first Catherines bird motif
The first generation Catherine is similar and yet less of a reconciling figure than her daughter seen in the second generation Mine was rocking in a rustling green tree, with a west wind blowing, and bright white clouds flitting rapidly above, and not only larks, but throstles, and blackbirds, and linnets, and cuckoos pouring out music on every side, and the moors seen at a distance, broken into cool, dusky dells, but close by great swells of long grass undulating in waves to the breeze, and woods and sounding water, and the whole world awake and wild with joy. He wanted all to lie in an ecstasy of peace; I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee. I said his heaven would be only half alive, and he said mine would be drunk; I said I should fall asleep in his, and he said he could not breathe in mine, and began to grow very snappish. Vol 2 Chapter 10-The second Catherines bird motif
Use of motifs in both generations Use of window motif in both generations The first Catherine opens windows for the air from WH to come to TG The second Catherine uses the window to escape from WH Two windows with very different purposes in both generations Doors unite the two generational stories. Locking in people in both generations but in the second generation; its done to a woman while in the first, its done by a woman
Is the second generation important ? 1.The second generation of the Cathy-Linton-Hareton story line are seen as unimportant when compared to the first generation because they are given textually less space than the first generation lovers. The full history of Catherine and Heathcliff are given as seen in Nellys recounting of the two hundred year old history of the Earnshaws and Heathcliffs entry into the Earnshaw family. Their childhood and adulthood and even their deaths are dwelt in detail and hence readers are given a textually rich history of the first generation lovers. In contrast, Bronte quite cursorily deals with the second-generation lovers. Lintons history with his mother is not shown, Haretons love story with the second Catherine encompass only the last few chapters. Thus, structurally, the author herself does not seem to regard the second generation as important.
2.The second-generation story line seems to be added to complete the first generations love story hence pointing to their unimportance. The second-generation characters are a redux version of the uncompleted love story of Catherine and Heathcliff. The first love story did not come to fruition because of the social constraints that prevented the two lovers from marrying as seen in the first Catherines heartfelt cry that …it would degrade me to marry Heathcliff.... It is left to her more perceptive daughter to marry a similar type of character to Heathcliff, Hareton despite his lack of education and breeding. The first love story was shown from infancy to death while the second love story shows only it starting at young adulthood. The ending reinforces the idea that this is not a love-story of Cathy and Hareton but that of Catherine and Heathcliff as seen in the last few lines of the novel I sought and soon discovered the three head-stones…the middle one (Catherines) grey …Heathcliffs still bare. These last lines convey the impression that the novels focus is on the first generation and the second-generation love story merely acts to complete that very first love story.
3.The second generations love-story is seen as distracting because of the presence of the inactive and negating characterisation of Linton Heathcliff. The space devoted to Lintons scared and forced courtship of the second Catherine at the terrifying behest of Heathcliff is structurally weak because it consists of the numerous times Catherine rides to and fro the two homes and petting and soothing the timid and scared Linton. Long lines about the two of them hiding their love from Nelly and Edgar add to a distracting and repetitive story line. In contrast, the first generations courtship of violence and passion and hidden motivations add to a sense of mystery and tension, which keeps the reader addicted to the first generation story line.
Is the second generation story important? 1.The second generation is as important as the first generation story line because it structurally completes the first generations love-story. Without the second generation, Brontes story is tragic, destructive and incomplete. The second generation adds a human dimension to the first generations excessively romantic and tragic story line. The first generations love story is so passionate and dark that it defies believability to a certain extent especially Heathcliffs malevolent revenge on the Lintons for destroying his love with Catherine. Readers alternate between shock, awe and disbelieve as they read the following lines Her present countenance had a wild vindictiveness in its white cheek and a bloodless lip and scintillating eye… almost as if they are reading the story of an almost vampiric and consuming love as shown in the Heathcliff-Catherine story line. In contrast, the courtship of Hareton and the second Catherine is calmer and as energetic and passionate as the first story line. This is a typical girl hates boy and then comes to love him story line and helps to harmonise the passionate and unbelievable angry energies of the first story line; reinforcing the structural importance of the second generation love story.
2.The repetition of motifs used in the first generation and repeated in the second generation may seem distracting but it actually helps to tighten the structure and plot, thus making both generations important in the novel. This is seen in the use of the window motif in the novel. The ill Catherine thinks she is at her old home at the Heights instead of the Grange and begs Nelly to Open the window wide…the wind sounding in the firs… Similarly, her daughter uses that open window and the fir branch to escape from the Heights and Heathcliff. The window is used structurally to show the similarity and differences between the generations and adds complexity to the motifs that recur between generations. The window at the Heights through which the second Catherine escapes is also the window through which the first Catherine wails to be let in. The window motif is used to show the dissimilar passions of the mother and daughter; one who views the Heights as imprisoning while the other who views the Heights as a place of freedom. Without the presence of the second generation, the complexity of the motifs and its relevance to themes would be lost.
3. The second generation is important in showing the moral vision of the author. Some critics claim that Bronte glorifies savage passion and love at the expense of morality and decent human values. This charge is valid if the novel ends with only the first generation and their destructive love. The lovers Catherine and Heathcliff engage readers immediately and all attention focuses on their passionate outbursts. Famous quotes abound on their glorious and yet tainted love as seen in these lines Nelly I am Heathcliff. If all else remained and he were annihilated, the Universe would turn to a mighty stranger. I would not seem a part of it. The immorality of Catherines statement if I marry Linton, I can aid Heathcliff to rise and place him out of my brothers power. shows an amoral world vision which the writer seems to accept when she portrayed such passionate and immortal lovers. However, this charge that Bronte is amoral or above our common understanding of morality is not true.
Bronte does have a moral vision. She is not so enamoured of her first generation lovers that she cannot see its destructive nature. Hence, she has the second-generation lovers to show that true love requires patience and acceptance and not mere passion. The second Catherine was at first as impatient and materialistic as her mother in rejecting Hareton and marrying Linton but through suffering and patience, she learns to temper her anger and hatred of Hareton and then marries him despite his lack of breeding and status. Bronte shows us that patience and acceptance are needed if love is to survive into old age. Thus, she uses the second generation to show the flaws of the first generation. This generation is important in pointing to the moral vision of the author.