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Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights As A Bildungsroman

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Bildungsroman used to refer to novels concerning female development will be summarized, compared and contrasted, for example, “ female Bildungsroman”, “novel of development”, “ novel of awakening”, and “ novel of action”, and finally offered as a small different along the greater spectrum which is the Bildungsroman. Also, there is another meaning of Bildungsroman, Bildungsroman is a literary work representing a specific literary system, in the general system of the Victorian Bildungsroman and, in matters of authorship, it is also a system in the larger system of the Victorian female Bildungsroman, whereas in matters of cultural ideology, this novel keeps romanticism alive and its elements form the system of a gothic Bildungsroman. Wuthering heights can be seen as a fairy tale, as Phyllis Ralph indicates, because of its mixture of wild natural setting, violence, and archetypal storyteller. The writer of this story named Emily Bronte. Emily Bronte has changed her name to a male name to avoid contemporary intolerance against female writers. Emily writes only one book called “Wuthering Heights”. The story of “Wuthering Heights” can be describe as a Bildungsroman because the male and female protagonists share their childhood experience, and followed by their separation in puberty. For example, Heathcliff is the hero of the “Wuthering Heights” story, he develops and change at the middle of the story, for instance, he goes on a search to get his wealth and earn knowledge of the world, while Cathy left behind.

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The hero in the story of “Wuthering Heights” is Heathcliff. He is orphan. Mr. Earnshaw brought him from Liverpool. Mr. Earnshaw is the father of Catherine. Heathcliff is an inculpable child who has lived a tricky life until Mr. Earnshaw takes him. He grows up with Catherine and her father loves and looks after him. Catherine’s brother named Hindly, who treats Heathcliff in bad ways and deprivation from everything which make Heathcliff pain in his childhood, Heathcliff and Catherine are friends and he starts loving her as he grows up. But, when Mr. Earnshaw died, he loses the love and care from Mr. Earnshaw and he feels betrayed from Catherine when she leaves him for Edgar Linton. There are two main factors that make Heathcliff change in his personality. The first one, is when Hindly harasses Heathcliff after Mr. Earnshaw’ death, and the second one, when Catherine married Edgar Linton. After that, Heathcliff become disappointment not for finding his love Catherine has made him vicious and evil, but, in facts he uses his sadistic behavior to hide his real passions for Catherine. Heathcliff did not forget Catherine, he still remember her and wails as a child for her to be back. Heathcliff thinks of revenge and it has turned him heinous. Heathcliff described as a hero who is driven by his wish to avenge. After that, Heathcliff entertains himself sadistically by punishing Isabella, Edgar’s sister who he marries to pursue his revengeful intention. Heathcliff was a happy man until he lost his love Catherine to the good and cultured Edgar Linton. Heathcliff geos away for three years and when he returns he become rich and dressed as a gentleman. The series of his revengeful plots ends just in his death. Other characters in the story see him as a damn and Heathcliff does his best to guarantee that he stays a demon in their eyes. The pain remains revealing itself until Heathcliff is alive and he attempts to ache the same pain on all the others who have hurt him. He smartly earns the property of both Heights and Grange.

There are two Catherines in this story. The first one is, the mother Catherine, she is the daughter of Mr. Earnshaw, Heathcliff’s love, and also Edgar’s wife. The second one is, the young Catherine, she is the daughter of Edgar and Catherine, and Hareton Earnshaw’s wife. The female protagonist in this story is the mother Catherine because the whole story talking about her, while the young Catherine comes in a small part of the story. Catherine Earnshaw’s presence in the story is an impressive and strong even after she die. She grows up with Heathcliff as a free soul. The two characters share their feelings with each other. But, when Edgar enters Catherine’s life, she becomes more torn among the two. Edgar Linton is cultured and rich while Heathcliff is uneducated and poor. Thus, when she wants to choose her life partner, she chooses Edgar. She thinks that she will find the happiness and the joy with Edgar but she did not forget Heathcliff even after her marriage. In her childhood, she was the favorite kid for her father. Because she was beautiful and also she was rebellious and her father was loved that. One day, Catherine brought Heathcliff home she felt antipathy for the black kid. She cannot hide her passion. In her marriage, she thinks that she will get a better life when she marries Edgar because she will be a lady. But, she never felt that sort of strong love toward Edgar that she had felt for Heathcliff. That does not mean that Edgar does not love her. He wants her and hence never challenges to contradict her for he knows of her wild side. Her wastage is too large for Heathcliff who comes back after years with very big change only to revenge from others. His feeling become unacceptable because Catherine choose not to marry him, then, he grows into a manic person. This feeling with Catherine ends with his death. Catherine was for Heathcliff everything such as his love, his true friend, she was protect him, and make him feel very strong when he was unable child. When she was dying, Catherine is reminded of all the happiness moments that she lived with Heathcliff. After that, Heathcliff still wishing to be back. Catherine and Edgar were buried in one side, while Heathcliff on the other side, reflecting her royalty and love. Catherine dies torn between Heathcliff and Edgar as she had alive. Heathcliff wants Catherine more everything else and her figure keep dominant in the story of these features.

All in all, Bildungsroman is a novel form about growing up. We can say that Bildungsroman is fit the story of “ Wuthering Heights” because Bildungsroman protagonist who such as Cathy Earnshaw attempts to love herself through the roundabout way of the man’s love is paused in development, her daughter “ the young Cathy” take her mother’s place so that the plot of the story can continue. Heathcliff in the beginning of the story was poor, uneducated, homeless kid, then Heathcliff change, he becomes a loved and careless victim, then, also Heathcliff change to become a degraded lover, and lastly he converts into sinister, lonely without friends.

10 October 2020

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