In detail what is the contrast between the Earnshaw & Linton families? The differences in personality traits of family members & in how they treat others.

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Linton family is more established as a member of the gentry class than the Earnshaws are. The two houses of each family represent opposing worlds and values as well. The Earnshaws are ruled by their passions while the Lintons are cultured and refined. The atmosphere at Wuthering Heights is chaotic while Thrushcross Grange is peaceful and well-ordered. The Linton children are raised to be well-mannered young people, but they are considered spoiled by others.

Catherine Earnshaw symbolizes wild nature, being characterized as a wild, tempestuous girl. She becomes aware of the social differences in society, and this leads her to marry Edgar Linton instead of Heathcliff. Catherine is free-spirited, beautiful, and sometimes arrogant. Her inability to decide what is more important to her brings misery to the two men who love her.

Hindley Earnshaw is jealous of Heathcliff and comes to hate him because Mr. Earnshaw shows his favoritism toward Heathcliff. He creates chaos in the lives of those living at Wuthering Heights because of this jealousy.

Edgar Linton grows to become a respected member of society even though he's characterized as a weak, spoiled child. He is a gentleman in every sense of the word. He is graceful and well-mannered as an adult and shows himself to be a kind, gentle man. Although he's "almost the ideal gentleman", he is also a coward. He is humiliated by Heathcliff in Chapter XI when he shows he's afraid to fight Heathcliff. He also refuses to force Catherine to choose between himself and Heathcliff. He truly loves his wife, but he cannot control her.

Isabella Linton,also characterized as a spoiled child, is described by Nelly as having a "keen wit, keen feelings, and a keen temper, too, if irritated". She is childish even as an adult and has a silly romantic nature. This is shown when she marries Heathcliff even though the two of them aren't suited for each other. She refuses to help Hindley kill Heathcliff even though Heathcliff has cruelly abused her. She shows a sense of self-preservation when she escapes to Thrushcross Grange and then later to London.