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I'm studying A Streetcar named Desire and Wuthering Heights for AS (CCEA) and I'm really struggling with choosing quotes to learn. I have no problem understanding the texts and themes, I just don't know where to start really. I'm trying to organise my Wuthering Heights quotes by theme but it just seems neverending.
Does anyone have any tips? How many quotes would be a sensible amount to learn? Just basically, where do I start???
The anonymous626
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I am redoing WH this year, I would say questions require detailed analysis of quotes, which is difficult to do if you don’t know the context behind when they were said. That’s what I would say definitely to revise; a mix of episodes and quotes for characters anyways. Essay plans for Wuthering Heights is something I’m trying this year and it actually is really good at setting out each point for and against you would bring up. Do you have any predictions?
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I did a university course on obsession in English literature and had to study Wuthering Heights. Doing in depth analysis on particular quotes is very helpful because you get an understanding of how the themes actually evolve and what devices the author uses to develop her themes.

Here’s some analysis that I did on particular quotes, I hope it helps:

Wuthering Heights

“He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

• The lover as an object of preserving the self
o There is an attempt by the lovers to export their true self onto a carrier who can preserve it better than themselves
o Interaction between Heathcliff and Catherine on the Moors is the origin of this mystic connection
o They are bound to each other through the experiences of their naïve, idyllic, childhood interaction
o That is the true content of their souls
o Preserved in the other, while the superficial self-changes
• Conflict: individual vs. society
o They seek solace in each other
o “his and mine are the same” → this indicates that what they have brought
• refers to the actual substance of the soul
o “souls are made of…”
o Eludes to the physical in the spiritual
o a connection and link of this kind persists throughout the novel
o the spiritual and non-tangible arising from things that have a definite and concrete substance
o the earthy connection between Catherine and Heathcliff gives rise to a spiritual link “made of the same stuff”

“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”

• Connects back to the idea of Catherine and Heathcliff hiding parts of their essence in each other
o Because her truest form exists untouched by time in Heathcliff, he in turn preserves her connection to life in such a way that she cannot
o Somehow also the particular diction associated with the extinguishing of either Heathcliff or the “all else”
▪ “perished” → violent, sudden, untimely, has a sense of duration
• The death of all else lasts, is a continual process
• Violent and sudden but lesser in magnitude than annihilation
• “perished” also has limitation, incomplete
• “perished” compared to “annihilated” is almost anti-climactic
• Creates some sense of acquiescence while “annihilated” almost suggests some struggle
▪ “annihilated” → destroy utterly, obliterate, has no sense of duration, sudden, in one instant
• This demarcation is important at arriving at the true significance of both entities: the “all else” and Heathcliff
• “annihilation” is complete, cannot be done in halves but marks the “utter” obliteration, without exception
• Suggestive of the role that Heathcliff’s existence plays in Catherine
• His death would be an annihilation because it would take that part of Catherine with him, which she cherishes the most, the true sense of her being
• It would also be a natural annihilation of himself because, in part, of Heathcliff’s inability to change
• He has to exist either in his truest form, as that which he is, or must be wiped off of the face of the earth
• Enriches the perception of Heathcliff as an almost monolithic character
• He exists as an entity entire of himself that cannot be diminished or increased but simply brought out of existence of allowed to stay in it

“Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I can not live without my life! I can not live without my soul!”

• Catherine claims a love for Heathcliff that transcends even the “form” that he takes
o Seems to make no difference to Catherine who Heathcliff is
o Even if she immediately hates him – “drive me mad!”
o This disinterest in the form that Heathcliff takes shows that what she wants is not Heathcliff’s immediate form but something that he cannot help having
o In this case he can drive her mad, without lacerating their relations because Catherine is in love with that which exists in almost untouchable realms within Heathcliff’s conscious – the form of Catherine as she was “half-save and hardy, and free.”
o That is what she wants and why she loves him
o Love is depicted as something not relative to other people but something complete, in of itself
o A reflection of herself in her subject
o Is love as depicted in Wuthering Heights selfish?
▪ Admiration and adoration result from a desire to preserve one’s best qualities and memories in another and the admiration of that person for holding them
▪ Each individual is a canvas for memories and the emotions that inhabit these memories
• Being denied this is like being left in the abyss
o “left” implies prior former movement of the subject being addressed
o This implied sense of distance creates an atmosphere of isolation
o “abyss” accentuates this
o Constant attempts to paint a holistic picture of isolation
o “left”
▪ Moving horizontally forward
▪ Split off → growing horizontal distance
o “abyss”
▪ Vertical distance
▪ Far away from everything in a vertical sphere of consideration
o A strong sense of almost suffocating loneliness is formed, increased by the internal isolation
o Solitude is an important motif in “Wuthering Heights”
▪ The struggle of the main plot can also be viewed as an ongoing attempt to seek human interaction where little such possibilities exist
▪ The origins of Heathcliff fit into this structure by presenting an intruder who has no personal history and no origins himself, presumably from a far-off land
▪ He is the image of isolation who latches fully onto Catherine as the source of his being
▪ In many ways the key struggle is for something to latch onto
▪ Suffocation comes from the lack of freedom experienced by each character from giving up their freedom in order to seek belonging
▪ Heathcliff can be perceived as something of a disease
▪ He, without any origin, ties, obligations, responsibilities begins a chain of events that level most of the characters to his position of complete isolation from origins
• Isabella is taken away from her family only to die herself shortly after
• Despite living in London she is in tremendous isolation
• Hindley, likely from resentment towards Heathcliff turns to alcoholism once his wife dies and isolates himself completely in Wuthering Heights
• Catherine, cuts herself away from Hindley and Heathcliff to live with Edgar where she likely feels only transient bouts of belonging
o Catherine had seasons of gloom and silence now and then
• He essentially turns Hareton into a slave both of whose parents are dead
• He eventually tortures Catherine II by not letting her visit her father
▪ The tension of the entire book stems from isolation made more torturous by proximity (Heathcliff digging up Catherine’s grave and always seeing spectral images of her)
▪ This is ameliorated by seeking connection with other people, which denies freedom and begets dependency

“I wish I were a girl again, half-savage and hardy, and free.”

• Strength is considered extensively: given champions and antitheses (Darwinian proposal)
o Strength and superabundant vitality shown in:
▪ Catherine I and II
▪ Heathcliff
▪ Hareton
o Weakness and meekness displayed in:
▪ Isabella
▪ Linton
• “half-savage”
o Heathcliff’s gypsy origins
o Positive portrayal of things originating from nature and their power and vitality
o Heathcliff’s dogs for example
o Strength of nature: the snowstorm
o The origin of the true self → nature

“I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you.

• This existence beyond oneself is formed through memory held in a vessel outside of oneself
o It makes sense why all characters seek interaction
o It is through this interaction that shared experiences are mutually-manifested and stored in order to create this “existence… beyond you”
o This notion plays out in a very real sense throughout the novel
o It is the existence of characters in different vessels that drives one of the central conflicts
o Heathcliff tries to get revenge on Hindley by turning Hareton into a slave on the property that should belong to him
o He gets revenge on Edgar by enslaving his sister
o His enslavement of Catherine II is a revenge onto Catherine
o In effect, attachment of this sort is the sustaining factor of the entire conflict

“If you ever looked at me once with what I know is in you, I would be your slave.”

• A slave to one’s former self
o The fact that through the medium of memory Heathcliff can hold within himself the representation of Catherine
o This representation enslaves her and is that part in Heathcliff that is also her

He trembled, and his face glowed: all his rudeness and all his surly harshness had deserted him: he could not summon courage, at first, to utter a syllable in reply to her questioning look, and her murmured petition.

• “trembled” → weakness
• “glowed” → health, re-birth, pride, beauty
• In “Wuthering Heights” the numerous characters are defined by their roles and the environment they inhabit, despite having a foundation (a core)
o Hareton having grown up as a laborer despite his claims to the land he is forced to work
o Superficially, he has little love for anyone
o And nobody seems to care for him
o Develops an exterior characterized by “surly harshness” and “rudeness”
• The connotation of the phrase “deserted him”:
o Suggests a previous dependency
o These attributes are a necessary survival mechanism
o There abandonment results from the change that he has undergone
• As these attributes leave, he is unable “to utter a syllable” where previously he was capable of unleashing torrents of abuse at his cousin (in reply to her own)
• This encourages a Marxist literary criticism
o Characters are externally defined in their relationships based on the “infrastructure” dictating their lives
o It is a survival mechanism: the need to conform to a certain mold in order to survive
▪ Based on responsibilities
▪ Based on obligations
▪ And on the environment
o Hareton developed, up until that point in the only way he could
o The will is presented as something external of oneself
o Almost like something detached from one’s own body, riding yourself of it = freedom
o Hareton was driven for 17 years (during which he was a slave on his land) by something formed from the 2 main factors described
o Now that the fundamental, generative element necessitating them disappears (now that he is loved by someone) he no sheds the persona (or shell) developed from all of these impressions and is able to self-actualize based on different principles based on his true self
• In many ways this is a major driving force of the novel: two versions of a self-existing
o One formed by circumstance, necessary for survival (but not true to one’s sole)
o The other characterized by authenticity
o The interaction and superposition of these structures is what we see here

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