Literature – WH and ATSS – Marriage

Hey, another literature post. Enjoy!


Marriage

Marriage is linked closely to betrayal. In Wuthering Heights, when Catherine marries Edgar, she is betraying Heathcliff. When Heathcliff marries Isabella, he is marrying Catherine and Isabella is betraying Edgar. Catherine and Heathcliff love each other so they are betraying their partners. Cathy is betraying her father by going to Wuthering Heights when she marries. In A Thousand Splendid Suns, Mariam is betrayed by her father when his wives tell him to marry her off. Laila is betrayed by Rasheed, whilst she is betraying him.

There is little love in any of the marriages, and any love there is, is usually one sided. Mariam starts to love Rasheed, but he is simply using her. Mariam loves her father and although he is fond of her, he doesn’t say he loves her as a child and marries her off like a nobody. Laila doesn’t love Rasheed nor does he her, but she loves her child and that is what makes her marry. The best marriage and love is Laila’s to Tariq, who prevail and marry happily and make a life at the end. It is similar to Wuthering Heights. Edgar loves Catherine, Cathy loves Linton (at first and to an extent), and Isabella loves Heathcliff. At the end, the prevailing coupling union is between Cathy and Hareton who marry for love.

At first glance, it would seem that Cathy’s marriage to Linton was illegal in several ways. First, she was kidnapped by Heathcliff and effectively forced to agree to marry. Secondly, the suggestions are that it was held in Wuthering Heights, not a proper place of worship. And presumably the “who objects, speak now” was not asked to the public. In modern times it would have been thrown out of court, but this is an isolated rural area in the 18th century when the local magistrate was effectively the law. We know that Heathcliff had a crooked lawyer in his pay and no doubt he could find a clergyman willing to turn a blind eye for money. The Marriage Act of 1753 made it necessary for a wedding to take place in a church so the clergyman would have had to pretend that it had happened at such a place. If anyone disagreed, it was Cathy’s word against Heathcliff, Linton, Hareton, the lawyer and the clergyman so she had little chance to object. Also, when Edgar died, Heathcliff would have presumably become the magistrate so he had things pretty well under control.


There you have it – Please comment below and I really hope you enjoyed!

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