“Is Edgar Linton a sympathetic figure? How does he compare to Heathcliff?
In the novel “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte, which can be defined as a love story of two star-crossed lovers, there are two main male figures that impact the life of Cathy, Edgar Linton and Heathcliff, Both have similarities in their love for Cathy, but they are distinctively two different people. In this summation, I will depict the main characteristics of Edgar Linton while also comparing him to the his rival Heathcliff who both yearn for Cathy’s love and devotion.
One of those characters is the man she ultimately chooses to marry, which is Edgar Linton. When Cathy meets Edgar after Cathy is bit by a dog on the land that Edgar owns, she is flabbergasted by this outside universe she never had at Wuthering Heights. When she lived at Wuthering Heights, she was surrounded by her brother and Heathcliff who consumed her heart and soul. After Heathcliff leaves, she is left to fend for her own devices, one of which is marrying the antagonist of Heathcliff, Edgar Linton.
Whereas Heathcliff embodied the will and strength of a survivor in difficult circumstances, Edgar on the other hand had been brought up in refined and polished environment and Cathy knew right away she loved the idea of dresses and balls; all the things she missed when she was consumed in the bubble of Wuthering Heights. Edgar is originally described as a fair-skinned, thin, man with light hair and blue eyes. He is a drastic contrast to Heathcliff both physically and spiritually. Cathy states in the novel that “on the bleak hilltop the Earth was hard with a black frost and the air made me shiver (Bronte, 2014).
Edgar, on the other hand grew up with constitution and had rarely traveled the world outside his pristine estate. He is considered in drastic difference with Heathcliff who loved to revert to isolation and nature which gave him his strength because it was the memories he had of he and
Cathy that let him keep thriving. Their love was everlasting, born from childhood and extended throughout the whole novel. I believe Edgar was aware that Cathy never truly would love him, but hoped while Heathcliff was away, her feelings would change. One could be sympathetic towards Edgar in the fact that he was not as robust and that he may never find out what true love is. He was a man built on circumstance. Heathcliff even stated “if he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn’t love as much in 80 years as I could in a day” (Bronte, 2014).
Bronte, C. (2014). Wuthering Heights. New York, NY. Create Space Independent Publishing.”
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