Linton is selfish

Last class we discussed a quote that Nelly where claimed everyone in the world of Wuthering Heights is selfish whether it be just or not. Our discussion focused on Heathcliff and while I agree that he can defiantly be considered a selfish character I think Linton is getting off easy. In the reading for last class at the beginning of chapter thirteen there is a description of Linton’s care for Catherine that struck me and my group. If read on its own its easy to overlook the selfish undertone, but read though the lens that everyone in this world is out for themselves another layer is revealed,”…flattering his too sanguine hopes with the illusion that her mind would settle back to its right balance, also she would soon be entirely her former self” (134). I read this with a feeling of desperation on the part of Linton to regain Catherine to her former self. Now that’s a nice thing to want but his motivations and actions surrounding this are self serving. It is almost like he is trying to glue pieces of a vase back together. It feels like an obligation and a chore not an act of love. Later in the reading for class Tuesday I found a passage that calls back to Linton’s care, “I noticed on that occasion how much selfishness there is even in a love like Mr Linton’s, when he so regretted Catherine’s blessed release!” (167) Here we see after the fact the true nature of Linton’s care. He wanted Catherine to be better for his sake not hers and if you love someone you do not care about what is good for you only the needs of your partner matter. Trying to glue her pieces back together prolonged her suffering. And to me that is the most selfish act of all.

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