The Wuther of the Other

An overarching theme that our class has been discussing is gender ideologies and attributes depicted within Victorian literature. In response to this interest, Group 3 found Steven Vine’s article, “The Wuther of the Other in Wuthering Heights” which focuses on the relationship of the Other as it pertains to Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff and the influence it has on their social mobility throughout the novel. The article establishes a parallel between the term “wuthering” and the description of the Heights by Lockwood in the first chapter. Vine argues that the term wuthering can also represent a metaphor for stability and instability throughout the novel. Vine’s analysis of the wuthering of the other also applies both marxist and feminist theories to the novel and argues that Wuthering Heights replaces a masculine ideology of romanticism with a feminine one. This inherits Wuthering Heights to be “feminized Romanticism” reshaping the masculine Romantic narcissism. The article also expresses ways where a construed aspect of social and sexual identity are dramatized. Heathcliff is the main example in this article in relation to his  introduction to the family and argues that this experience represents Heathcliff’s unstable position in the family structure. Vine argues that “Heathcliff’s entire history in the novel is framed in terms of “taking the place of others” whether it relates to his assumption of the name Heathcliff or his succession as master of Wuthering Heights. Vine also argues Catherine and Heathcliffs relationship is the core representation of this theory.  As for social mobility, Heathcliff’s arrivals at the Heights has quite an influence over Catherine because his perceived objective is to separate her from her father’s governance. Vine argues that Catherine portrays disempowerment in communicating with her father as well as indicating that a power battle arises between them over Heathcliff. This disempowerment also causes a lack of identity within Catherine, as she is restrained by traditionally feminine roles in which she is expected to marry Edgar Linton and conform to societal pressures and expectations. Vine argues that if Wuthering Heights reveals gendered identity as a division, then what forms of this division are taken within this narrative? Whether historical or self revealing, this narrative presents the division in more than just an allegorical form. Overall, Vine conveys the instabilities present throughout the novel. 

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