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Wuthering Heights is traditionally placed in the romance genre, but is any of the love...

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hennybathurst | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 16, 2012 at 8:18 PM via web

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Wuthering Heights is traditionally placed in the romance genre, but is any of the love presented by Bronte true?

Specifically relating to Heathcliff and Cathy- would their love truly be viable if it was actually allowed to come to fruition?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 16, 2012 at 10:18 PM (Answer #1)

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Unfortunately, the Romantic period is widely misunderstood by people not truly familiar with the characteristics of the period. Given that the word "romantic" is used in the genre's classification, many believe that the works of the period are about love. This is a misconception.

The Romantics valued many different things: love of nature, individualism, the natural/uncivilized, the imagination (over reason), and the everyday exotic. Emotional love (or romatic love) was not necessarily something the Romantics tended to focus upon (even though it does appear in Romantic works).

That being said, the love between Cathy and Edgar (in Wuthering Heights) is one of forbidden love (given Cathy's marriage). She is literally heartbroken at being made to choose between Edgar and Heathcliff. One could only assume what would come of the love between Heathcliff and Cathy. The only truth one can find is that Cathy really does love both Edgar and Heathcliff. 

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