The Duality Between the Brain and the Ego in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Bronte constructed Wuthering Heights greatly as a duality. This theme occurs throughout the novel oratorically as the vocabulary on the pages: Two houses, and their particular inhabitants, entirely create the plot and essential characters. The duality illustrated is Bronte’s way of analyzing the human brain‘s internal, life struggle, Between the Superego, the brain’s rational side, and it’s primal side, the Id. Nevertheless, the brain has a median, So to speak, this median, in which is the Ego, has a prominent role in the book — her name is Catherine Filling the place of an Ego is to a degree like being the compromise.

Heathcliff personifies the Id and Edgar Linton Personifies the Superego; and weirdly enough Catherine falls right in the middle. The superego is described and represented as the voice for reason, morality. Linton has these characteristics throughout the book: “He hails from Thrushcross Grange, a place proper enough that Catherine goes in, and a lady comes out”.

Even when heated arguments took place in the book, Linton kept his anger in, he often had a very tranquil sense, He even does as much as tells his opponent to leave, his opponent is, however, Heathcliff. Catherine, being in the middle of the Id and the Superego, often finds herself contemplating back and forth between the two. By definition, the Ego is the pan of the mind that mediates between the conscious and the unconscious and is responsible for reality testing and a sense of personal identity. Originally, Catherine essentially played more the role of the Id.

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In fact, her intense love for Heathcliff is actually due to the perfect similarity of their souls. Anyhow, no matter how deep the love for Heathcliff is, she chooses the social position — to choose Edgar.

According to Isabella Linton, Catherine and Edgar are “as fond of each other as any two people can be”. Catherine makes up her mind to marry Edgar, even though he was not the man whom she truly loved. Marrying the educated fellow made her feel important, it gave her a sense of dignity. On the Sunday Heathcliff and Catherine went to visit Thrushcross grange, Catherine undoubtedly fell in love and was attracted to the rich, elegant architecture. In the next five weeks, Catherine finally decided to part from Heathcliff. In the extravagant house, she acquired vanity, expensive clothes, sophistication, and manners, She acknowledged that if she was to marry Heathcliff, she would lead a poor, hard-working life, but, if marrying Edgar Linton, she would have an admirable, satisfying oner.

Once she fell into the Linton world, it reminded her of her tired, old life – and that was something she couldn’t bear. Catherine fits the ego so well, not soley because throughout the novel she could never escape the rigor of social forms, but also because she lived in the ring of reality principle, It was a sad day when Catherine passed away, because she died a painful death – physically and psychologically Physically, she gave birth to her beautiful daughter, Cathy Linton. Psychologically, she died married to Edgar Linton, never being the greatest and most arrogant woman by the virtue of her beloved, being Heathcliff and her betrayal to him.

She gave up her early id in her childhood and entered the period of ego, in Lacan’s view, “Where the id was there ego shall be” and “it is my duty that I should come into being”. She died at the feet of social pressure, having to adapt to society, becoming weak and frailr Humans live in a paradoxical world, constantly tugged and pulled in different directions. Needless to say, it is not at all simple, in fact it is the central conflict of human instinct, People cope with the brain tugging battle by using denial mechanisms like reaction formation, sublimation, displacement, projection, repression or suppression and so on. It’s very clear that it‘s a real struggle to keep the Superego, Id, and Ego balanced -» Thus, often times there isn‘t one.

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The Duality Between the Brain and the Ego in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. (2022, Nov 17). Retrieved from

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