The Mistreatment of Women

As I read Wuthering Heights, the treatment of women at the time becomes very apparent. Mr. Heathcliff treats his daughter-in-law rudely and demands her to make tea for Mr. Lockwood, and she’s just expected to follow his commands. The narrator even observes that he said it in “bad nature.” Additionally, Mr. Lockwood walks in on Mr. Heathcliff yelling at her to do something instead of reading and insults her. As a result, she claims that she’ll put her trash away like he demanded because he can make her if she refuses, but she retorts back with her own comment; this exemplifies her defiance and willingness to stand up for herself. He put his hand up as if we was planning to hit her, but didn’t end up doing it. The way he treats her is totally unacceptable, but also not surprising given the time period.

The frustration within Catherine can be compared to Martineau in Society in America. Martineau writes of the mistreatment of women and how unfair a lot of the laws were at the time. For instance, in some states a woman had to yield all of her property to her husband. Martineau writes of how ridiculous it is that the government makes laws like these; women have never given their consent to these laws even though it is required, as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Both Martineau and Catherine demonstrate frustration to their place in society and defy who is trying to “put them in their place” in their own ways. Martineau writes to the public about it and advocates for change, while Catherine stands up for and defends herself against others.

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