Sympathy for Children

While continuing to read Wuthering Heights, I can’t help but feel sympathy for the children. In The Cry of the Children, freedom is spoken about in regard to children and animals, how animals had more freedom than children. I think it is interesting to relate this to Wuthering Heights. Within the chapters 17-25 for this week, we see how Cathy has no freedom to do what she wants. On the contrary, Heathcliff growing up has freedom to do whatever he pleased, maybe not in a social standing status, but with his actions (gender?). This eventually leads her to sneaking around to Wuthering Heights at times. However, this lack of freedom to see who she wants only furthers her attraction to do so. A prominent feature of Victorian parenting seems to be that of having control as well as portraying some affection, in most cases. This freedom that is not all that prevalent in Cathy’s life directly correlates to freedom of emotions as well. We see how Cathy and Linton are forced to contain their emotional attraction towards one another as the surrounding issues of their families will not allow for it, as Cathy is fed lies about bad things about Linton and Heathcliff in order to persuade her from wanting to go there. This is an interesting topic to contrast as well. How come Nelly allows so much freedom for Cathy in these chapters, whereas her father would never have allowed? What does that say about their relationship? Why does it seem Nelly has such a greater connection and tolerance for Cathy rather than for when she cared for her mother Catherine? It is really interesting to think about this contrast of freedom between the characters, focusing on their genders as well, as they develop throughout Wuthering Heights, and more specifically how this freedom impacts their societal choices.

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