Is Edgar Linton a sympathetic figure? How is he compared 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 she 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 her.
Cathy who 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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Catherine Linton Heathcliff
Like Mother, Like Daughter... Only Kinder
You'd think that the two Cathys would be doppelgangers—they have the same name, the same bloodline, and they both live on those infamous moors. But you'd be wrong. Wuthering Heights shows us that we're not fated to re-live the mistakes that our parents made... and Cathy is proof positive of this.
Phew. Thanks, Cathy.
Cathy is the only child of Edgar Linton and Catherine Earnshaw Linton. She is a bit of a demanding, headstrong wild child, like her mama was before her. Since she is born the day her mother dies, it's hard not to see her as an extension of Catherine Earnshaw. But Heathcliff doesn't seem to see Cathy that way, and Brontë doesn't suggest a direct parallel.
Catherine Linton is a kinder, gentler version of her mother, thanks in part to her relationship with Edgar, an extremely dedicated father. Though she can be peevish and snobbish, Catherine's generosity and kindness toward Hareton—not to mention her love of the simpering Linton Heathcliff—demonstrate a kind of compassion and selflessness that her mother never had.