Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wuthering Asgardians

So, as I rambled about here, I recently finished reading Wuthering Heights

I only read it at the begging of a dear friend, and I read it reluctantly because I knew it would be a sad story. It was a hard-going, and I desperately tried to like it, but so far, this book and I are not friends. We're more like frenemies: I tend to throw my paperback across the room in fits of sheer frustration, but I quickly pick it up and reverently place it back on the bookshelf. (I'm fairly certain my books have feelings.) 

What I'm trying to say is that WH has affected me quite strongly, and it's taken me a few weeks to sort out my feelings about the book. I can rant for 30 minutes about how selfish Cathy and Heathcliff are, but I would still recommend the book for everyone to read. I guess that's the sign of remarkable writing.

Well, in the midst of my mental muddlement, I went to a movie night that consisted of Winter Soldier, Pride & Prejudice, and Avengers. Which is how this little gem happened:

 (The sparkling grape juice was malfunctioning.)

Anyways, we got to this scene in Avengers...

"When I first came to earth, Loki's rage followed me here and your people paid the price. And now again." 

...and I had an Aha! moment. I don't know if it was the bubbly talking, or maybe it was because it was 1 a.m., but I suddenly realized that Thor and Loki's relationship had a whole lot in common with Cathy and Heathcliff's relationship.

No, don't laugh; just hear me out here. See, I think Heathcliff and Loki are pretty similar.

Both were born into a lower, 'unacceptable' class of society. Both were adopted into a higher class of society. Both Old Mr. Earnshaw and Odin raised their adopted sons implying that they would always be treated as equals. Upon realizing the opposite, both sons became consumed with hatred and bitterness and spent the rest of their respective lives expressing that.

 [apparently they also both have hair that gets all fabulous and wavy when they're mad....]

I think Thor and Cathy have a good bit in common as well.

Both were favored children, and grew up somewhat spoiled. Both were kind and goodhearted. Both of them loved their respective 'siblings' more than anything, and didn't care about class distinctions. (Obviously, Cathy's love changed just a bit. ;-) ) They also both had very noble intentions, and they were both bullheaded.

Furthermore, I think we would all agree that both relationships are anything but peaceful. Which is why the 'Loki's rage' scene flipped the 'hmm' switch in my brain.

But this is where I differentiate between the two: the reason I am so aggravated with Cathy and Heathcliff, and why I hold out more hope for Thor and Loki.

I sum up Cathycliff with this: Cathy and Heathcliff loved each other, and then both hurt each other, and then hated each other. I don't care what either of them did when Cathy was dying, I really believe they both died hating each other (or at least loathing each other). In my opinion, Heathcliff took the first step in ruining he and Cathy's relationship. Cathy thought she was being all noble and stuff by marrying Edgar Linton (so she could 'take care' of Heathcliff). Understandably, Heathcliff resented this misguided kindness. But he let this slight eat at him for the rest of his life. He never gave Cathy any chance at forgiveness. And Cathy resented Heathcliff's resent. She refused to change her attitude because she always believed she was doing the right thing, and Heathcliff was always wrong.

On the other hand, I believe that Thor and Loki grew up as loving siblings, but Loki changed his tune when Thor [almost] gained the throne, while Thor tried to keep up the kindly brotherly relations. Loki, though, spends the majority of 3 movies completely blind to Thor's caring about him.  He nearly kills him in Thor, totally ignores him in Avengers, and finally sort of starts to come around in TTDW. But Thor? Pfft. No matter what stunts Loki pulls, he still loves Loki, and still treats him as a brother. This little theory proves my point:

Now, to be fair, I don't hate Cathycliff. I so badly wanted it to end well. I mentally denied the inevitable all the way up to the conclusion. I really believed their love, at first, but afterwards all I could see was their selfish actions. (And that's why I get so fed up with people who watch the movies and think everything C and H do is for 'love.' Bah-flipping-loney.)

Thor/Loki, though, has more potential, I think. Like I said, in TTDW, Thor's goodwill seems to have finally gotten through to Loki, at least a little bit. He shields Jane and tries to take the black hole grenade for her while they're in Svartalfheim, and then he at least acts like he sacrifices himself for Thor. I'm still frustrated with MCU for faking that, but, hey, even Loki's return supports my point. He could have said anything as 'Odin' to Thor, but he chose to support Thor's wishes. (Don't get me wrong: I don't think Loki has really changed his nature, but I think he finally sees that Thor still truly loves him as a brother.)

So, you see? The more I compared the two pairs, the more I saw similarities. But the more I saw similarities, the more I saw the big difference. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that if we're taking lessons from fictional relationships, then here's a couple lessons we can take: 

Hate hurts everyone: not just yourself, and not just your enemy.

Forgiveness, while it can't undo past wrongs, can help mend a good relationship. 


  1. Cathycliffe. LOL. :) I feel you on the terrible-but-recommendable strain; it's like that movie, Howard's End, to which the response was, "It was a great movie... however, it did suck." God bless!

    1. Yes, I try to be clever when shipping people. :-) And you know, someone recommended Howard's End to me recently. Should I spend the time to watch it or not?

    2. I'd only watch it if you're in a philosophical mood and want to be in the throes of half-anguished frustration. Like the book you have to read and think everyone should read but ultimately condemn as being a well-written example of horrible literature. It is the Wuthering Heights of movies.

    3. Ooh, well, now my interest is thoroughly piqued. I'll have to bump that up my to-watch list. :-)

  2. I really like the parallels you drew! Here's my take:

    "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." Sometimes Yoda really is wise. Both Heathcliff and Loki are afraid of what will happen to them when they realize they're not "true sons." (Why Loki ever thought he had a chance at the throne is beyond me, though, since Thor is the older brother. Unless Asgardian thrones don't go to the oldest, but to the fittest?) Their fear makes them angry at their "parents" because they've been lied to, and at their "siblings" who don't understand why they're afraid. And then they begin to hate their more fortunate "siblings" for getting what they themselves can't have. And so they strike out, causing suffering for their "siblings" and themselves and pretty much everyone around them.

    But Loki does at least help Thor, so he gets major bonus points for that. Helps him with a secret agenda, but whatever. And when he faked his death, he gave Thor what Thor has always wanted -- the belief that Loki wasn't all bad and was willing to sacrifice himself for Thor. I'm gonna cry a whole lot when Thor finds out Loki lied to him. I'm still very upset with both Loki and the MCU for putting Thor through that emotional wringer falsely.

    1. Thank you very much. I consider you an expert, because, well, you have a degree and everything. :-)

      I remember thinking the same thing: how could Loki ever be a king as the youngest? That's where I think Loki's ego fed some of his hate. I felt kind of the same way towards Heathcliff. I wanted to say "Hey, man, I know Cathy sorta jilted you, but you know y'all can't be together anyways, right?" I basically just take these kinds of stories too realistically, I think. :-)

      Ooh, why did you have to give me that mental image? Poor Thor. He's such a nice guy, and except for his mum, his family all has major issues. I still say MCU only brought Loki back because of all his fangirls. *eyeroll*

    2. Hee hee! Okay, I'm officially flattered. Expert, huh? Lol. Really my degree just means I have spent a LOT of time reading things and analyzing them and then writing about them. Which is what a good book blogger, like you, does. For instance this post -- I would have given it an A if you'd written it for a Lit course because you've clearly understood the material, thought deeply about it, and come up with something original to say about it.

      I pity the Loki fangirls. Their idol is a liar, a trickster, a shifty and devious villain who doesn't get his own movies and always has to play second fiddle. Comparatively, Thor fangirls have a happy life.

    3. *blushes* Thank you. That's very nice of you. Sometimes I wonder if I got the wrong degree at college, because things like this make me really miss English Lit and studying Shakespeare and Cyrano and things like that. I'm really glad I have this blog now, though, because before when I studied Lit, I didn't have anybody to discuss it with, because nobody else thought about it as much as I did. I guess the Internet can be a great place. :-)

      I concur. I totally concur. Only I wish there were more Thor people fangirling for the right reasons.

    4. Well, you know, maybe some day in the future you'll go back to school and get another degree! I've thought many times that when my kids are all in college, I'd love to take more classes, maybe get my masters in English or Creative Writing or something. Then I could be that weird old lady in classes that actually does all the homework and enjoys discussing stuff with the professor and makes all the other students roll their eyes.

      Unlike when I was in college before, when I was exactly that person but not old.

    5. Oh, my, yes, you should definitely do that. Hahaha. My mom HATED those people, because she was the old lady who didn't care about the homework. I wanted to be that student, but kept quiet because I didn't want dirty looks, and I didn't understand it all as much as some of the other students.

      Our community college here is very accessible, so I've seriously considered going back for a Lit Associates or something. One of these days...

    6. Yeah, I actually had a fellow student say to me, "Hey, could you please just not do the readings for like a week? You're making us all look bad." That hurt a little, though it would have hurt more if it hadn't come from a loudmouth sporty that I didn't like. I didn't like the dirty looks either, but if no one else raised their hand, I would. Unlike Cowboy, who was 100% socially oblivious and shot his hand in the air instantly to answer every question. I had to teach him that some people, like me, might know the answer too, but never got a chance to answer because he did every single time, lol.

      In retrospective, I'm glad I stuck to my studying and made the most of my time there. Not that I studied 24/7 -- I also had friends and fun, but "fun" for me, then as now, involved watching movies, discussing movies and books, etc. Sometimes going out to a movie, going to the mall, occasionally a coffee house, restaurants for people's birthdays, etc.

      We have a community college ten minutes away. I totally will go there if we're still living here once my kids are grown. Or before, who knows.