In Wuthering Heights, one of the main conflicts present during the majority of the novel is the love triangle going on between Heathcliff, Catherine, and Edgar. One of the Socratic Seminar discussion questions reads: "What do all of the triangulated relationships in the novel suggest about the structure of desire?"
Catherine loves Heathcliff and Edgar but in differing ways. Catherine and Heathcliff's love is that of ownership, passion, and the mutual feeling of being one with each other. Catherine's love for Edgar is different. Edgar loves Catherine because of her beauty and her strength while Catherine loves Edgar for his gentleness, wealth, and good name. With this love triangle, I believe the novel is stating that desire demands a vast array of things including love, passion, entitlement, and materialistic attributes. However, the fact that Catherine cannot possess all of these things with either of the two men she loves states that desire can never been truly fulfilled because perfection doesn't exist.
In society today, things are not significantly different. During the Victorian time period, it was common for a man and a woman to marry based solely upon their wealth and social standing. Most of the time, it was arranged by the parents of the two as an almost business-like agreement to strengthen their family names. Today, society deems this type of marriage unacceptable. We like to see true love and the struggle through possible hardship to maintain that love. While the social norms of the two time periods have changed drastically, the structure of desire remains the same. Many human beings may desire to marry someone that they truly love, who is wealthy, and who is popular with others. However, that is usually not the case and they must settle for something less. Today, most people marry solely out of love; wealth and social standing are just perks of the relationship. I agree that, in most cases, we will not spend the rest of our lives with someone who meets all of the requirements in our fantasies.