Edgar Linton - “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë

A Comprehensive Analysis of Literary Protagonists - Sykalo Evgen 2023

Edgar Linton - “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë

Edgar Linton in Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights": An Intricate Portrait of a Tragic Figure

An important character in Emily Brontë's "Wuthering Heights," Edgar Linton is essential to how the complex plot of the book develops. Edgar's static nature becomes more and more obvious as the novel goes on, standing in stark contrast to the turbulent and dynamic events that are going on around him. Edgar's character will be examined in depth in this analysis, along with his history, motives, relationships, conflicts, and general significance in the story.

Determine the Type of Character

One could categorize Edgar Linton as a stagnant character. He doesn't really change much throughout the book, even with all of the dramatic twists and turns and strong feelings that the narrative carries. Edgar's constant character traits constitute a reassuring anchor in the middle of the upheaval and intensity of the story, while other characters experience significant changes.

Examine the Character's Function in the Narrative

Edgar is an important supporting character who adds to the complex web of connections and tensions that characterizes "Wuthering Heights." Edgar is a significant figure in the story since he is the father of little Cathy and the spouse of Catherine Earnshaw. His interactions with other characters have a lasting impact on the plot.

Look into the History of the Character

Edgar comes from a privileged and well-educated household. In contrast to the desolate and stormy Wuthering Heights, he grows up in Thrushcross Grange, where he is born into the wealthy Linton family. Edgar's character is shaped by his contrasting upbringing, which highlights his delicate nature, refined manner, and lack of readiness for the brutal reality of Wuthering Heights.

Examine the Personality Traits of the Character

Edgar Linton exudes a genuine, although slightly naive, friendliness, along with tenderness and polished manners. He is disgusted by the sinister and disorderly actions of individuals at Wuthering Heights and has a strong moral compass. But his mild nature also poses a problem because it leaves him ill-prepared to deal with the cruel and passionate environment he finds himself in.

One of Edgar's best qualities is his loyalty, which is demonstrated by his unwavering love for Catherine. Despite her turbulent relationship with Heathcliff, he never wavers in his unwavering love for her.

His naivety, reluctance to face unpleasant facts, and propensity to shy away from conflict are some of his negative attributes. Because he is unable to change to meet the difficulties posed by the high dynamics around him, these characteristics add to his static nature.

Reasons and Objectives

Edgar is mostly driven by his romantic feelings for Catherine Earnshaw. His intention is to provide her with a quiet, well-mannered life away from the turbulent environment of Wuthering Heights. But his objectives and motives are based on an idealized vision that is at odds with his wife's severe character and the social mores of the day.

Difficulties and Conflicts

Edgar deals with a lot of strife in the book. His inability to balance the romanticized picture of his connection with Catherine with the hard reality of her erratic and passionate personality leads to an internal conflict. He has to deal with the disturbance caused by Heathcliff as well as the collision of two very different worlds: the civilized Thrushcross Grange and the turbulent Wuthering Heights.

Edgar frequently responds to these disputes in a passive manner, underscoring his incapacity to face or conquer the obstacles in his path. His lack of autonomy ends up becoming one of his most distinctive traits.


Understanding Edgar's character requires an understanding of his relationships. Although Robert and Catherine have a loving marriage, the strains from Wuthering Heights and their stark personality contrasts cause a great deal of difficulty in their union. Edgar's protective attitude toward his daughter Cathy is evident in their relationship, underscoring his need for a quiet and secure home life.

One of the most important relationships is perhaps that of Edgar and Heathcliff. The two stand for diametrically opposed forces: gentleness and passion, culture and nature. Their encounters highlight the devastating nature of societal expectations and the unbridled power of individual desire, which add to the novel's larger themes.

Archetypes and Symbolism

Edgar Linton epitomizes the Victorian gentleman, embodying the ideals of gentility, sophistication, and accepted social mores during that era. He plays the opposite of Heathcliff, who represents the wild and passionate sides of human nature.

Edgar's house, Thrushcross Grange, is a symbol of order and civilization. It represents the conflict between social conventions and the protagonists' uncontrollable impulses since it contrasts sharply with the untamed and wild Wuthering Heights.

Character Development

Edgar's storyline has very little, if any, development. He enters the scene as a dapper gentleman who is madly in love with Catherine. As the narrative progresses, he stays loyal to himself, refusing or unable to change with the times. His tragic character is highlighted by the lack of a compelling character arc, which emphasizes his stagnant nature.

Speech and Conversation

Edgar reflects his sophisticated upbringing in his speech and vocabulary. He has a refined and courteous way of speaking that sets him apart from the crude and unrefined language of the Wuthering Heights characters. His use of language becomes an instrument for emphasizing the socioeconomic and cultural divides that permeate the book.

Historical and Cultural Background

"Wuthering Heights" is set in the 18th and 19th centuries and captures the aspirations and social mores of the day. Edgar Linton upholds the rigid societal norms of behavior, embodying the standards of a Victorian gentleman. His tragic position in the story is a result of his unwillingness to depart from these conventions, which highlights the constraints placed on him by society norms.

Analytical Angles

Edgar Linton's character can be understood through examining "Wuthering Heights" from a variety of critical angles. While some critics contend that Brontë purposefully chose Edgar's passivity to highlight the constraints imposed by social conventions, others contend that Edgar is a satire on the futility of gentility and sophistication in the face of unbridled desire.

Arrange the Content of Your Analysis

It is helpful to organize the study according to the novel's chronological sequence. Start with Edgar's introduction and history before delving into his relationships and issues. Examine his reactions to obstacles and his relationships with other characters to get a sense of his importance within the story's larger framework.

Present Proof

It is crucial to provide explicit quotes and textual passages to bolster the thesis. The analysis will be strengthened, for example, by using quotes that depict Edgar's sophisticated vocabulary, his relationships with Catherine and Heathcliff, and instances that show his passive disposition. Provide concrete examples to support each argument and give readers a thorough grasp of Edgar Linton's persona.

In summary

In conclusion, the sad and multifaceted character of Edgar Linton in "Wuthering Heights" His unchanging character, characterized by gentility, sophistication, and an unwavering love for Catherine, adds to the novel's main themes. Edgar's failure to adjust to the turbulent events around him is a remark on the limitations of kindness in the face of unbridled passion, serving as a metaphor of societal expectations and cultural conventions. Edgar's place in the sad fabric of "Wuthering Heights" becomes clearer to us when we look closely at his history, character qualities, motivations, relationships, conflicts, and overall significance.