Love is always an infinite theme in almost stories, especially in classic series. There is no exception in The Picture of Dorian Gray of Oscar Widle and Wuthering Heights of Emily Bronte. The Picture of Dorian Gray and Wuthering Heights are two classic novels written respectively in Victorian era and Romanticism period. These novels are stories which revolve around the love story of the main characters Dorian versus Sibyl and Catherine versus Heathcliff and Edgar.
In the aspect of love, it is feasible to see that there is practical mindset in these personages. Practicality in love may be that people fall in love for several reasons including loving feelings, destiny or faith or even material reasons. It is the appearance of love but the nature of it is selfishness and taking advantages of each other. This essay will discuss two manners of this aspect of love. First, in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Widle, Dorian loves Sibyl but this so-called love is truthful selfishness.
Indeed, Dorian loves Sibyl only on account of her acting, therefore, when Sybil acts badly, he is willing to shout at her “[she] [is] nothing to [him] now”, “without [her] art [she] [is] nothing” (Widle 75). Even when Sybil commits suicide as a consequence of his terrible behavior to her, the lad can still enjoy himself by going to the club of Harry’s sister. Even when Basil asks him, he calmly answers “there is nothing fearful about it. It is one of the great romantic tragedies of the age. ” (93) He talks as if the death of Sybil is an obvious thing “she [dies], as Juliet [dies].
She [passes] again into the sphere of art. ” (94) Dorian puts all his love on himself, his youth and his beauty “youth is the only thing worth having”, “[he] [is] jealous of everything whose beauty does not die. ” (26) The love he gives to Sybil is temporary, short, egotistic and practical“[she] [spoils] the romance of [his] life. ” Dorian is a calculating person. He would like to take use of her to upgrade his reputation “The world would have worshipped [her], and [she] would have borne [his] name. (75) In Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Catherine loves Edgar Linton in a practical way while she spends a passionate love for Heathcliff “[she] [is] Heathcliff! He’s always, always in [her] mind” (Bronte 69, 70).
The practicality in Catherine’s love is shown definitely when she decides to marry Edgar Linton. She loves Edgar just for the reasons that “he is handsome, and pleasant to be with”, “he is young and cheerful”, because “he loves [her]” and “he [is] rich, and [she] shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighborhood and [she] shall be proud of having such a husband. (66) She loves him simply because “he loves [her]. ” (66) “[She] [loves] the ground under his feet, and the air over his head, and everything he touches, and every word he says. [She] [loves] all his looks, and all his actions, and him entirely and altogether. ” (66) All criteria she mentions as the reasons she loves Edgar seems merely refer to his appearance and his material possessions. “[she] wouldn’t, unless he [possesses] the four formed attractions. ” (66) As for Heathcliff, Catherine loves him without any conditions; she and Heathcliff could not live separated “who is to separate [them], pray?
They’ll meet the fate of Milo! Not as long as [she] [lives]. ” There is no exception for Linton, her husband in future and any other things in the world, she has still keep her belief “every Linton in the face of the earth might melt into nothing before [she] could consent to forsake Heathcliff. ” (69) She has an aim that when she marries Edgar Linton, she can use his money to free Heathcliff from her brother, Hindley “if [she] [marries] Linton [she] can aid Heathcliff to rise, and place him out of [her] brother’s power. (69) While Catherine loves Heathcliff, she, however, does not want to marry him “It would degrade [her] to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how [she] [loves] him” (68) because Heathcliff has nothing, because “he is more [herself] than [she] [is]. Whatever [their] souls are made of, his and [hers] are the same. ” Her love for Heathcliff is as strong as lightning or fire while for Linton as weak as a moonbeam or frost. (68) It is feasible to assume that Catherine takes advantage of Edgar. The person she loves is Heathcliff but the one she wants to get married is, however, Edgar.
She is a totally practical woman. To sum up, Dorian Gray and Catherine Linton both of them love in practical ways. Dorian loves Sybil because of her talent in acting, her beautiful voice while Catherine marries Edgar on account of his appearance, his fortune and his kind-hearted manners to her. To some extent, the proper aim of either Dorian or Catherine is not as expected as they plan. With Dorian, he finally realizes that his love for his beauty is the root of his own sin after that; the only way out for him is the death.
With Catherine, despite her deeply love for Heathcliff and her purpose to help him base on her gentle husband, her lover does not know her aim and leaves Wuthering Heights. He turns back for the purpose of revenge people who treat him badly, including Catherine. It is the classical tragedy for both two novels that the original cause is the blinding love.
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New York: Oxford World’s Classics, 2006. Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. Copyright © 2003 The Pennysylvania State University