Analyse the portrayal of Patriarchal oppression and its influence on the female protagonists in Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.
The assertion of the autocratic male dominance, was not an uncommon ideal in Emily Brontë’s time and her novel Wuthering Heights, was thus no exception to the influence of Patriarchal oppression. As such, this essay presents an analysis of the portrayal of Patriarchal domination in Wuthering Heights and its influence on the female characters. Brontë’s three central female protagonists emulate a joint impasse that emerges when individual identity is set against the strong social forces of gender roles emphasising the constraining effect of social, physical and emotional imprisonment. Their oppressors, (either mindfully or unconsciously) encourage the domestication and suppression of women’s liberation. Consequently, their domineering and pernicious actions produce a ravaging effect for Brontë’s female protagonists.
Wuthering Heights, while passionately submits to the Romantic values, is wrought with portrayals of Patriarchal oppression. In particular, the characters of both Edgar Linton, and Heathcliff, are the key contributors to the Patriarchy presented in Wuthering Heights.
As an oppressor, Heathcliff’s guise as “an agent of disruption ”, as Carol Senef notes, emphasises upon the motives behind his dictatorial actions later throughout the novel, especially against Catherine (Linton -second generation) and Isabella. Heathcliff’s actions “mirrors the violence of Hindley Earnshaw’s Patri-lineal regimen” , and serves as ‘justice’ against Cathy (Earnshaw Linton –first generation) actions to wed Edgar over himself, heralding the beginning of Heathcliff’s tyrannical dictatorship. Edgar Linton on the other hand, passively exposes his Patriarchal characteristics not through his anger (as with Heathcliff), but rather, through his value of status in the social sphere within the Victorian Era. His social context denotes his noveau...