Heathcliff and Pip: Brothers From Another Mother

I feel as though it is unquestionable that there are stark similarities between Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights and Pip in Great Expectations, and these similarities only become more pronounced in this set of chapters. Heathcliff and Pip have extremely similar upbringings and thusly, extremely similar character arcs. Raised as orphans, not destined for wealth or a gentlemanly lifestyle, they were most likely going to slip through the societal cracks until an inheritance of vast wealth. However, their transition to a different social class appears artificial, and that’s because it is. At its roots, Heathcliff and Pip are not naturally indoctrinated to live the lifestyles of gentlemen, and this issue is prominent when it comes to their desire for love. Heathcliff’s incessant longing for Catherine can’t be fulfilled, because in her eyes there would be a social stigma that still remains, and in order to keep her social perceptions intact, she would be better off with Edgar Linton. This is similar to Pip and his relationship with Estella, who goes on to marry Drummle. Situationally these relationships differ, as Healthcliff’s love seems requited more-so than Pip, but the point still stands that although wealth is garnered, these men have a difficulty escaping the predispositions that have been placed on them, and their self-awareness of such gives them great anguish.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.