Relationship Deja Vu

The parallels between Wuthering Heights and Great Expectations continuously jump out at me as we continue to read this novel. Relationships in the Victorian Era have a weird dynamic, especially when we see a contrast in certain ideologies of class, gender and social structure within the novels we have read. In chapter 44 we see a change in Pip and Estellas relationship, Pip confesses his love to Estella, but it is shared that Estella does not reciprocate those same feelings. We then learn that she is going to marry Drummle. This reminds me a lot of Catherine and Heathcliffs relationship. Although it is not exactly identical in accounts of feelings of both parties, it is very similar in situational aspects. Estella marrying another man, just like Catherine marrying another man. But here, it is interesting to see why Estella is marrying Drummle, as he is not a character who is portrayed as a very nice one. Pips innocence and recognition of his social class to Estella is one that reminds me of Heathcliffs early characterization in Wuthering Heights. One quote from Heathcliff that I thought of when reading Great Expectations (as Pip was speaking) was “‘But, Nelly, if I knocked him down twenty times, that wouldn’t make him less handsome or me more so. I wish I had light hair and a fair skin, and was dressed and behaved as well, and had a chance of being as rich as he will be!” (Bronte 37) In both novels we see the recognition of social status from Heathcliff and from Pip in Great Expectations, yet they still pursue something outside of their social status or their “realm” and predetermined expectations of the time period. It is interesting to compare these two novels and their characters with many themes, one here being the rise of social status through romanticism and love, through relationships.

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