what is the role of marriage in wuthering heights  nothing

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weewhirlingdervish | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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The structure of the marital relationships in Wuthering Heights can be examined in terms of an example of the Hegelian dialectic. Cathy's marriage to Edgar, Heathcliff's marriage to Isabella and the younger Cathy's marriage to Heathcliff's son all demonstrate examples of marriages of convenience or coercion. These have very little to do with the values that marriage is supposed to be based on, such as mutual love and affection. Ultimately, however, this is synthesized into the marriage of young Cathy and Hareton, who wed for love. This symbolizes a hope that the earlier generation of protagonists in the novel came to lack.

It is also worth examining how interlocking themes within the work are shaped by marriage relationships. For example, Cathy's decision to marry Edgar despite being in love with Healthcliff suggests the influence of class differences and socio-economic forces that shape the lives of the characters. The figure of the patriarch is very much at the centre of the text, and the patriarch as the head of the household, and hence the centre of the family -- a product of marriage, is a concept that dominates the text.

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