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The Gaze, Power Shifting and the Reconciliation in Wuthering Heights
|Issue Date:||2021-09-02 15:26:20 (UTC+8)|
Among the intricacy of the relationship between the characters in Wuthering Heights, I look for a medium to analyze the power shifting. Exploring the gaze explains the unspoken intentions and the passionate emotions of the characters. Therefore, I try to do textual analysis from various perspectives. For the first chapter, the reader discovers hidden motives under social structures through the lens of the gaze. The conflicts between the Heights and the Grange reflect the intertwined power in society. However, social class does not constrain characters. The demonstration of the power shift in the relationship is in the observation of the gaze in the second chapter. Nelly, as an example, does not come from a high-born family but manages to influence the fate of the characters. Nelly makes the most use of her position to influence the people around her. Under the power structure, the characters hold their inner voice and convey the will under power. The gaze indicates the consciousness of the characters and locates Catherine’s focalization when she is sick. The flow of consciousness can be captured by the movement of the gaze, as seen when Catherine, in a trance, forecasts Isabella’s future. Furthermore, the gaze depicts the inner voice and strong will of the characters. In the end, the gaze becomes a method for the life and the dead to communicate. For instance, Catherine keeps haunting Heathcliff in order to remind Heathcliff of her presence and Heathcliff seeing Catherine after her death retains his purpose of vengeance. Lastly, the gaze brings consolation for the second generation.
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