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In Wuthering Heights, can the parallels that appear in the book be classified as part...

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inekavg | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 17, 2011 at 10:45 PM via web

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In Wuthering Heights, can the parallels that appear in the book be classified as part of the style?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 18, 2011 at 5:51 PM (Answer #1)

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I certainly would describe the sense of repetition and parallel situations that are such a characteristic of this amazing novel as part of its style. Let us remember that these aspects link this novel very firmly to the Gothic tradition, which its definitely a central part of its stylistic element. Consider the way in which ancestral repetition plays such a big part in creating these parallel situations. Let me give you one example: the love triangle between Heathcliff, Edgar and Catherine is repeated by the next generation of inhabitants of the two houses, in the way that Heathcliff forces the younger Catherine to marry his son, Linton. Even though the ultimate ending of this love triangle and the story surrounding it is different, this is a key stylistic element of the novel. Consider, too, the way in which Lockwood in Chapter Three discovers the three names of the various Catherine's in the novel, and understandably becomes confused between them:

The ledge, where I placed my candle, had a few mildewed books piled up in one corner; and it was covered with writing scratched on the paint. This writing, however, was nothing but a name repeated in all kinds of characters, large and small - CATHERINE EARNSHAW, here and there varied to CATHERINE HEATHCLIFF, and then again to CATHERINE LINTON.

At this point in the novel, bearing in mind the non-chronological form of narration, Catherine Earnshaw, Catherine Linton and Catherine Heathcliff have already existed. The circle is completed at the end of the novel when Catherine Heathcliff marries Hareton Earnshaw and becomes Catherine Earnshaw, once again returning to the initial state of the first Catherine and therefore symbolising that the cycle of vengeance and violence is now over and the characters are left to enjoy happier lives. Such parallelism and repetition is definitely an important stylistic aspect of this novel.

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