Wuthering Heights - Nature Vs. Nurture
Uploaded by Anwar Al-Hattab on Nov 18, 2001
Wuthering Heights is a novel that indulges one of the most crucial themes; the theme of nature verses nature. The two households of the novel: Wuthering Heights and Thruscross Grange represents both the contrast between wilderness and civility which dominates the lives of its inhabitants. Being able to suppress your nature nurturing an opposed one would result into a deep conflict within the characters themselves. The best that would exemplifies such conflicts between the code of nature and nurture is Catherine Eranshow. "Her spirit always at high-water mark, her tongue always singing, laughing and plaguing everybody who would not do the same. A wild, wicked slip" A person with such characteristics would not be able to infuse herself within a civilized society conventions that would shape up and polish whatever is wild and uncultivated in her. By adapting herself to the upper class society accepting their environment she is working against her nature. The chances of success are limited and an inner rebel is unquestionable. In Catherine's character we see how her nature wins over her nurtured code.
It all started the day she was bitten by the Linton's dog and was nursed there for awhile. She was taking by the glitter of the genteel society which raised her desire to be one of them adapting their false conventions. This idea brings me back to Dickens's Great Expectation when Pip visited Miss.Havisham's house and was ever taking by the false expectation of upper class. Her first rejection to her nature was the minute she laughed at Heathcliff instead of defending him: "Frightful thing! Put him in the cellar, papa. He exactly like the fortune-teller that stole my tame pheasant. Isn't Edgar" Cathy came around; she heard the last speech and laughed" (WH P39) Bit by bit we see how the nurture code develops gradually but still we have glimpse of her real nature striking at several situations she arrived as a lady wearing fancy dress and her hair was curled. Mrs. Lintons transformed Catherine into a young lady, and spent time on her education In matters of social grace.
Catherine shows acceptance for such mannerly conventions of genteel society despite he promise to Heathcliff in that to act as free and savagely as they want. Interestingly enough, people around her predicted that such new conventions will not last : "But she much mind not to grow wild again here" (WH P41) The...