The the developments of their own relationshipsThe the developments of their own relationships

The complexity of relationships within Wuthering Heights are both explicit and implicit; taking academic knowledge of familial constructs such as that of Freud, Lacan and Jung while also involving personal interpretations of the reader. To appreciate the novel, the reader is expected to understand that the fictitious character situations can be mirrored to reality, more specifically reality in the 17th Century i.e. societal expectations, feminism, law and religion. Bronte illustrates a raw spectacle of human interactions moving from childhood, like Heathcliff and Catherine’s rebellious conflict between them and Mr Earnshaw, to the developments of their own relationships as they become adults with their own children for example, Hindley returning with a wife or, more controversially, Catherine falling in love and marrying Edgar at Heathcliff’s dismay. This means analysis of the text executed in hindsight highlights the true purpose of the novel being to expose such sociological themes of the 17th Century and branding them as destructive. One could argue that this is a reason for the novels lack of sales and popularity in the days of its first publication as readers couldn’t or didn’t want to see the similarities shared between this fiction and their reality; however in modern day, Bronte’s gothic tragedy can be appreciated for what it truly conveys.Observing the first generation of relationships, Bronte attempts to separate the father and son interactions to the mother and daughters, through the little exposure Mrs Earnshaw is given and the overbearing attention paid to Heathcliff and Mr Earnshaw. The insinuation that Heathcliff is Mr Earnshaw’s illegitimate child causes Mrs Earnshaw to have such fierce disgust of Heathcliff as soon as he is brought to the Heights for example, Mrs Earnshaw arguing ‘How dare you bring that gypsy brat into the house?’ during a time when gypsy women weer known t trade sexual favours with men for money, food shows the mistrust she has of Mr Earnshaw within their marriage when the Earnshaws are the examples of which the children,, learn how to function among each other as well as with themselves as parents and spouses. Hindley is most predominantly affected by his mother’s attitude as he adopts it himself; viewing this through a psychoanalytical standpoint it could be argued that this is to do with the Oedipus Complex, according to Freud sons consider their fathers to be ‘the ideal’ but as they grow and come to realise that the father is standing in the way of their son-mother relationship ‘His identification with his father then takes on a hostile colouring’ so one could assume that Hindley’s authoritarian behaviour towards Heathcliff is a result of an attempt to replace his father, by agreeing with his mother to earn her affection and eventually replace Mr Earnshaw entirely. The ambiguity surrounding where Mr Earnshaw actually found Heathcliff causes the eventual death of both Mr and Mrs Earnshaw leaves a lasting , negative impression on the children, for Hindley, his mother passing away meant that he began to reflect on his father’s behaviour and resent his father fully for what he considered as unjustly loving Heathcliff as it is described early on in the novel “So, from the very beginning, he bred bad feeling in the house; and at Mrs. Earnshaw’s death, which happened in less than two years after, the young master had learned to regard his father as an oppressor…” (pg 73). Furthermore, when Hindley takes a wife after being sent to college, he seems to be indifferent to her even though she joins in on the maltreatment of Heathcliff, Hindley doesn’t have even the type of love Edgar and Catherine share never mind Catherine and Heathcliff’s passion. Reflecting how his parent’s socialisation of him at a young age has had a lasting affect on his ability to form relationships with his siblings and romantic attachments, Bowlby described this in his Attachment Theory as Hindley forming a monotropic attachment to his mother due to his mistrust of his father however due to the absent nature of his mother, even that attachment was not fulfilling, causing to have an insecure relationship and in turn, creating insecure attachments throughout his adolescence and adulthood.As Catherine became older, and with the experience of her weeks at Grange, she moved from her wild childhood of adventures with Heathcliff to being attracted by the picture boy for upperclass society, Edgar Linton who resembled exactly what women of that era were taught to desire; kind, intelligent, decent and most importantly, came from a wealthy family. Gold makes the point in Catherine Earnshaw: Mother and Daughter, that Catherine is aware that Heathcliff and Edgar represent two parts of her identity, constantly conflicting each other as Heathcliff represents her wily childhood, giving her relentless pleasure and freedom whereas Edgar is all the potential she has to become a lady, one who is respected and admired, in the eyes of society.  Even though she desires Heathcliff because of her natural love for him like she describes to Nelly ‘My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods… My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath’ she is under the overwhelming pressure of society to ‘marry well’, further proving that Catherine is the character that mediates between the unrealistic id and the external real world, composing reason in the midst of chaotic reality. Hindley even makes the remark ‘I should scarcely have known you- you look like a lady now.’ . Lastly, Edgar provides the superego element of the psyche that is Wuthering Heights, he represents the repression that Heathcliff experiences and that Catherine is bound by; Freud states that the superego is in two parts, the conscience and the ideal self, which function to punish the ego in order to become more morally idealistic. Considering this, once can see how Heathcliff does feel punished by Edgar through proving Heathcliff wasn’t a worthy husband for Catherine and he wasn’t a worthy father by having her child, showing how prominent societal values were at this time. In comparison to childhood, Heathcliff and Catherine were almost sheltered by this repression as they were contained within the family, allowing them to express themselves fully however as they grew into adults Catherine realised, in parallel to the ego, that this naivety wasn’t reality (insert quote) leaving Heathcliff with immature feelings and resolve. In the second generation of Lintons and Earnshaws Edgar’s daughter Cathy assimilates tendencies of the Id like her mother at the same age but is also confronted by the super-ego through marrying Hareton.An important aspect to consider is the involvement religion plays the novel, relationships between parents and children and in the 17th Century as a whole. Despite the novel not being religious in nature, Bronte explores the idea through an array of religious beliefs that have an impact on the relationships between the children and their parents). In, ‘Totem and Taboo (1913)’ Freud illustrated that our natural reaction in our psyche is to control our feelings of guilt by protecting onto surrounding objects and people. The first stage is ‘animinism’, Freud believed that when suffering from extreme guilt, similar to the guilt Catherine will have felt for being a rebellious child once her father died, our defence mechanism is to create idols or totems e.g. linking trees, stones or animals to spirits; we proceed to redirect the guilt onto the totems while attempting to make amends through prayer and sacrifice. Both Hindley and Catherine are supposed to have turned to religion when Mr Earnshaw died;  most blatantly in an attempt to feel closer to their father as well as using their faith to replace Mr Earnshaw. Freud’s references to pre-historic causes of religion outlines how our ‘idols’ are quite simply transformations of our fathers a is similarly described in the Oedipus Complex; our ambivalence for our fathers, is reflected within Western religion in the form of  Jesus and/or God. In relation to how Heathcliff is to be described with Mr Earnshaw, Freud understood religion as illusion based on the desire to feel safe and protected; he also sees it as an expression of emotional immaturity as religion links back to an infantile state where we were weak and helpless and in need of protection and this is why as adults we create a father figure, which we call God. Similarly, the absence of Catherine’s mother when she came to the age of courting, puberty etc, meant that she only had the male direction Hindley and Heathcliff, two Id personalities; that is until she is kept at the Grange where she is treated like a queen, given access to whatever she desires, living a cheerful and easy lifestyle, consequently being given a perspective of reality by Mrs Linton which changes her loyalties from Heathcliff to Edgar. In analysing Bronte’s approach to the other children, the Freudian Model of the Psyche can be applied in the manifestation of Heathcliff (Id), Catherine (Ego) and Edgar (Superego).  Heathcliff perfectly encapsulates the primitive nature of the Id theory, being defined in the Oxford Dictionary as ‘the part of the mind in which innate instinctive impulses and primary processes are manifest’; by acting on desires, pleasure and actively avoiding pain he manages to lead an illogical life, that which is not based on law or morality but is solely about seeking the personal revenge whether that be his childhood, Catherine’s marriage or her tragic death. Despite having both a happy and hateful adolescence, through having fond memories of his strengthening friendship with Catherine paralleled with Hindley’s incessant teasing, taunting and insults, Heathcliff’s development showed that he had a sense of wildness that allowed him to be rebellious and therefore avoid the pain that Hindley was causing him by trying to repress his enjoyment within the family. This progression transforms into destruction as Heathcliff has no control over his primitive tendencies meaning that when Catherine was at Thrushcross Grange and fell in love with Edgar, Heathcliff could only see his response to be revenge, not considering Catherine’s feelings or what would be best for him to do to recover from the inevitable heartbreak; he acted purely on instinct which foreshadows his suicide at the end of the novel, his impulsiveness killing him.Bronte’s portrayal of these relationships attempt to mimic real life scenarios that she would encounter, the theme of incest between the two families will have been commonplace in the 17th Century in order to keep money within the family and protect the social class of the family as a whole; the practice of arranged marriage has been culturally accepted for hundreds of years and  marrying for love is only a fairly modern concept; the oppression of women who are expected to live the wealthiest life possible is a direct contradiction for Bronte but still typical for her era. In terms of psychoanalysis, despite Freud being fairly disgraced since his works have been critiqued and replaced with more scientifically sound theories, his ideas can provide some perspective on how writers create depth for their characters, by describing them and their backgrounds using self-critiquing methods like psychology, sociology and anthropology.