Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wuthering Heights: Linton Heathcliff

Heathcliff and Isabella's son, a pretty, sickly little invalid who is so obnoxious that no one cares a bit that's he's dying. Even Nelly, the pillar of morality, or so she leads us to believe as narrator, has no sorrow toward his early death. He's such a sniveling self-centered manipulating selfish brat that Catherine's insistence on being his friend proves how dreadfully isolated and desperately lonely she is.

It's  great karma and even comical how different Linton is from his father Heathcliff. What payback for how horrifically Heathcliff treated Linton's mother Isabella as to have their son inherit all the ultra blond genes from Heathcliff's enemies the Lintons. Heathcliff's dark hair and gypsy eyes are in total contrast to Linton's severe blondness and blue eyes. Not only are the physical appearances of father and son completely in contrast, but their personalities are nothing alike either. 

Linton's been dying for most of his life, which is going to affect anyone's personality, but he overplays the helpless invalid role making himself a huge annoying burden on everyone and getting the sympathy of none except Catherine who is too innocent and naive to know any better. He enjoys taunting her and pushing her away and then reeling her back in using his illness to gain her sympathy until she labors to comfort and console him. 

My favorite scene involving Linton is when Heathcliff forces him to meet Catherine on the moors to lure her back to the house and trap her into marrying him. Linton is so near death that he can barely remain upright so he's reclining and trembling from fear and weakness on the grass as Catherine arrives. Then he's sobbing and begging her not to leave so be won't suffer the wrath of his father if he fails to lure her back to Wuthering Heights. It's such a pathetic scene that if he were a decent person, it would be heartbreaking. But since it's horrible narcissistic little Linton, it's funny, especially when Heathcliff enters the scene and "Linton had sunk prostrate again in another paroxysm of helpless fear, caused by his father's glance toward him, ." It's Three Stooges funny.

The only thing the father and son have in common is that no one can stand to be in their company. They are both good at alienating themselves from everyone, especially each other.

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