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Poor parenting in wuthering heights by emily bronte

She exemplified that the home was the centre of morality and a place of comfort, where domestic integrity was embodied by the woman. Throughout much Victorian literature, the private sphere of the home is presented as an image of comfort and safety from the outside world, wherein women had their place. In this novel, Patmore idealises his wife as a charming, self-sacrificing angel who should be used as an icon for other women to base themselves upon.

In defiance of this restrictive public perception came the rise of sensation novels, which depicted women in a new light. Mary Braddon wrote under the new genre of the sensation novel, which was known for its unconventional depiction of women- representing them not just as images of moral perfection whose only interests lie in the domestic sphere and upbringing of their children. Lady Audley assumes three different identities and fakes her own death, in order to escape her impoverished beginning as Helen Talboy, wife and mother.

She rises up the social ladder, acquires the identity of a governess and then a Lady of high society. Outwardly, Lady Audley embodies all the Victorian feminine ideals of an elegant and respectable woman.

She is the image of divinity and her manners and virtue mean that she is everything one would expect of a Victorian heroine. The idea that such a woman could abscond her husband, and even worse, her child Georgey, in order to conduct her own selfish pursuits, was outrageous. Accordingly, it leads to Lady Audley being declared as insane and institutionalised in an asylum. Motherhood was the pinnacle of womanhood and in order to fulfill your role as a woman, it was expected that you bond with your child and cater to its every need.

To abandon a child was completely unnatural and in line with her other atrocious crimes as far as a Victorian society is concerned. She cannot bond with her child, who is a constant reminder of the husband who abandoned her, and therefore deviates from the stringent rules of society in order to economically benefit herself and to change the path of her life.

Claiming that her motives were a result of insanity was essentially a favourable alternative to a life in prison and the only way to save the Audley family name.

The suggestion that a Victorian woman may have the intellectuality and passions to enable her to deceive a society in order to better herself was a very new and distressing idea. The rise of a feminist literature that presented women as multidimensional and more than just mothers was an issue explored by many authors. Like Braddon, William Makepeace Thackeray, author of Vanity Fair, [8] presents a manipulative female protagonist, Becky Sharp, who domestically deprives her husband and son in favour of climbing the social ladder.

The absence of a mother was also considered by many to have detrimental effects on the child. There has been much psychoanalytical interest over the book in terms of the effects that the absence of a mother has on Cathy and Heathciff. She fails to recognise her face in the reflection of a mirror: And say what Poor parenting in wuthering heights by emily bronte could, I was incapable of making her comprehend it to be her own.

It is a fundamental dependence, where it seems impossible that one could exist without the other. Her situation of non-differentiation from him means that when he leaves her, she is racked with an overwhelming sense of grief.

Cathy finally has to accept the fact that she has lost her symbiotic other and is an individual without Heathcliff. After Heathcliff leaves, Cathy has to find the motherly comfort that she needs in different characters, such as Nelly, and then later on in Edgar Linton: The absence of mothers has further damning effects on the next generation whose motherless mothers can themselves only maintain the cycle of abandonment.

The death of Catherine Earnshaw is documented in the same sentence as the birth of her daughter, Catherine Linton and similarly, Isabella and Frances die shortly after the births of their children.

It is as though the mother and child cannot coexist in the same world. The lack of positive female influence left her wild and passionate and destined for disaster, much like Catherine Linton, who, also without a mother, is wild and willful which leads her to Wuthering Heights and all the problems and perils that lay within. Although Mrs Dashwood is kind hearted and loving, the influence of her sensibility and attitudes towards love have severe effects on her daughter Marianne.

Her tendency towards irrational emotions and strong feelings lead to a lack of discipline over her daughter. Mrs Dashwood supports Marianne in her extreme culmination of emotion: Reasonable judgement and caution were of utmost importance in their society and the romantic Marianne, like her mother, displays extreme emotion that shows no restraint and goes beyond reasonable extremes.

Mrs Dashwood does nothing to warn Marianne of the detrimental effects that her actions could have on her poor parenting in wuthering heights by emily bronte in society and she ends up in a position where her lack of discretion brings shame and humiliation upon her whole family. Mrs Dashwood lacks the abilities of self-restraint or perception, which leaves her incapable of controlling her daughter and ultimately leads to her downfall.

Similarly to Braddon and Thackeray, Charles Dickens also presented characters with a striking contrast to the expected representation of Victorian women.

There are no images of the warm home and cosy hearth. Instead, Coketown is presented as a cold, industrial, bleak place where children are repressed and the inhabitants selfish. Hard Times was not received well by the Victorian readership, who were offended by Dickens world of harsh constraint, which was so different from his idealised novels, where the middle-class families were presented in a gay and harmonious light.

To suggest that a man could be course and unfeeling was one thing, but to suggest that a mother could present in the same way was absurd. The middle classes were happy living in blissful naivety and would rather read about an idealised world of perfection than something that was, perhaps more realistic, but also an uncomfortable, unprepossessing reality.

  1. There are no images of the warm home and cosy hearth.
  2. Her tendency towards irrational emotions and strong feelings lead to a lack of discipline over her daughter. It is a fundamental dependence, where it seems impossible that one could exist without the other.
  3. Her situation of non-differentiation from him means that when he leaves her, she is racked with an overwhelming sense of grief.
  4. The cause of this parenting style is having children who fear you and are easily bossed around, this is seen in Linton and Hareton.
  5. Lady Audley assumes three different identities and fakes her own death, in order to escape her impoverished beginning as Helen Talboy, wife and mother. Reasonable judgement and caution were of utmost importance in their society and the romantic Marianne, like her mother, displays extreme emotion that shows no restraint and goes beyond reasonable extremes.

Joe is the antithesis of the ideal Victorian woman: Joe, with black hair and eyes, had such a prevailing redness of the skin that sometimes I used to wonder if she washed herself with a nutmeg grater instead of soap. Joe is aggressive and unmaternal, which leads Pip to the disturbed spinster Miss Havisham, who he hopes will fill that hole in his life. However, like the sadist Mrs.

Mothering and its absence in a group of nineteenth-century novels

Joe, Miss Havisham too is sadistic and obsessed. Miss Havisham duplicates herself in the young Estella, another orphan who she takes on as her own and breeds her to be untouchable, pure desire.

Like the motherless mothers in Wuthering Heights, who are only able to inflict a further cycle of abandonment and neglect on their children, Miss Havisham herself had no mother, which is reflected in her inability to provide appropriate love and comfort for her adopted daughter. Dickens uses Miss Havisham to highlight the negative effects that a mother figure can have on a child. She has been conditioned to think, feel and act exactly as Miss Havisham wishes.

Pip too has a lack of self-control in that, in the absence of any adequate mother figure, he has been forced to act as his own mother. However the parameters he has set himself in terms of how he is allowed to behave have been conditioned by what he thinks society expects of him, meaning that he is as trapped as Estella. Orphans are forced to find alternative maternal comfort, which often has damning consequences on their mentality and poor parenting in wuthering heights by emily bronte stability, as seen in the characters of Cathy, Heathcliff, Pip and Estella.

Without a mother, young girls are presented in Victorian novels as becoming wayward and wild like Cathy, whilst mothers who abandoned their children were seen as equally unfeminine and formidable. Miss Havisham too, was driven mad by her failure in fulfilling the expected role of a Victorian woman as a wife and adequate mother, resulting in her moulding the orphaned Estella into a person incapable of love or happiness.

All of these novels contribute towards challenging and destabilising constrictive Victorian domestic ideals but not without provoking uneasiness and negative reactions in many critics of the time.