The main focus of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is the romance between Heathcliff and Catherine. The love between these two causes pain and suffering for anyone caught between them. Heathcliff’s motivations as a character are often unclear and left up for interpretation, especially after his beloved Catherine’s death. Towards the end of the novel, there is a scene that is used to great success to showcase Heathcliff’s mental state before his death. However, it does much more than that. Through closely examining Bronte’s word choice and the images she invokes when Heathcliff is talking about Catherine’s corpse, we can decipher what has been driving Heathcliff throughout the whole of the novel.
The color green has appeared in many different works over the years, and has been said to symbolize everything from nature to death to the devil. One of the most prominent works to feature the color green is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, the classic tale of a knight whose honor and self-control in the face of temptation is tested when a mysterious challenger arrives in King Arthur’s court. The poem has been upheld as a purely Christian poem that enforces Christian ideals of chivalry and honor. The meaning of the ending of the poem, however, has long been in debate. The reveal of the true identity of the Green Knight and Sir Gawain’s decision to wear the green girdle as a badge of shame have split scholars on the meaning for decades. However, I surmise that the poem can be best understood by viewing the Green Knight as an incarnation of God, with his complex morality being explained by the similarly complex nature of the symbolism of the color green. Simply put, the meaning of the color of the Green Knight is not static throughout the poem, but it’s meaning is fluid depending on the scene, with the color overall being used as a sign of bad luck.