Wuthering Heights in Twilight

Instructor: Rachel Noorda
There are many similarities between 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte and the 'Twilight' series by Stephanie Meyer. This lesson compares these two stories and the characters within them, as well as how 'Wuthering Heights' is referenced within the 'Twilight' series.

Romance is Romance

Do you love romance? Passion? Vengeance? A love triangle? Then you will love Wuthering Heights and Twilight, two stories that may have been written centuries apart but that have very similar stories. Whether the setting is the northwestern United States or northern England, the characters are vampires or humans, both stories have a love triangle and characters who are eerily similar.

Beyond just the similarities between the two stories, each book of the Twilight series is based on a work of classic literature. The first book, Twilight, is based on Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen; the second book, New Moon, is based on Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare; and the third book, Eclipse is based on Wuthering Heights. So not only are the Twilight books similar to Wuthering Heights, but the third book is based on Wuthering Heights and makes extensive references to Wuthering Heights.

Catherine and Heathcliff
Catherine and Heathcliff

The Books

Wuthering Heights is a novel by Emily Bronte, published in 1847. It is the story of a tragic romance between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff. The Twilight series (2005) by Stephanie Meyer is a four-part book series focused on a vampire romance. It is the story of a romance between Bella Swan and Edward Cullen.

The Love Triangle

A love triangle is a romantic relationship that involves three people (the three people are like three points or sides in a triangle). Love triangles are the focus and tension of both stories in Wuthering Heights and the Twilight series. Love triangles cause tragedy because inevitably, someone in the love triangle gets hurt.

In Wuthering Heights, the love triangle is between Catherine, Heathcliff, and Edgar. Although Edgar is the man that Catherine marries and shares her life with, it is clear that there is more love and passion between Catherine and Heathcliff.

In the book Eclipse, the love triangle is between Bella, Edward, and Jacob. Jacob is the more logically and sensible relationship choice for Bella because he is not a dangerous vampire and because they are very good friends. But Bella's love for Jacob cannot compare to the love and passion she shares with Edward, which is why Bella ends up marrying Edward and inevitably hurting Jacob in the process.

Additionally, in Eclipse, Bella has a copy of Wuthering Heights in many scenes and she references the similarity between her own life and the plot and characters of Wuthering Heights. Through Wuthering Heights, Bella is able to better understand herself and the love triangle she is caught in.

Similar Characters

Catherine and Bella

Catherine and Bella are both loved by two men: one man who is the sensible choice, and one who is the dangerous one. Although Catherine ends up making the sensible choice while Bella makes the dangerous one, they both break the heart of the man they did not choose.

Catherine and Bella are inherently flawed characters. Primarily, they are selfish characters. Bella acknowledges this in Eclipse, saying ''Catherine is really the source of all the trouble, not Heathcliff.'' Both Bella and Catherine are loved by two men that have good qualities. But they both lead the men on and have difficulty in completely choosing one or the other.

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