How do Edgar Linton and Heathcliff compare and contrast in Wuthering Heights?

Edgar and Heathcliff are alike in loving and caring about the welfare of Catherine. Otherwise, they are a study in contrasts. Edgar is fair, handsome, wealthy, gentle, and well-mannered. He offers Catherine a luxurious, well-ordered household. Heathcliff is dark, brooding, often surly, and has been degraded to a farmhand. Even after he disappears and comes back a wealthy gentleman, he is hard-hearted and dangerous. Yet Catherine loves Heathcliff in a way she can never love Edgar.

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When it comes to physical appearance, Edgar Linton and Heathcliff could not have been more different. Heathcliff is dark, brooding and often unkempt-looking, whereas Edgar Linton is fair, blue-eyed and has soft, inviting features. While Heathcliff is rugged and wild like Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff is refined and charming like Thrushcross Grange.

With regard to their personalities, Heathcliff is as wild as his appearance. Having been rescued from the streets of Liverpool by Cathy’s father, Heathcliff has known hardship and suffering, and he is consequently quick to become defensive or offensive. He is prone to fits of rage and jealousy. Edgar Linton’s character, on the other hand, is sophisticated and refined, and his manners are impeccable.

Cathy has feelings for both Edgar Linton, who she winds up marrying, and Heathcliff. Her feelings for Heathcliff are wild and passionate, whereas she appreciates Edgar for the safety net that she offers him. It is made clear that the only reason...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 784 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on July 27, 2020
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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on July 27, 2020