Essay, Research Paper: Wuthering Heights

Literature: Wuthering Heights

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In the novel, Whuthering Heights, Emily Bronte has created one of the most
controversial novel in the 19th century. Bronte has written a novel that
contains many views of complex ideas. Revenge and love revenge are examples of
such. The main theme of revenge is protared through the character of Heathcliff.
Heathcliff is also part of the theme of love accompanied by that of Cathy. The
other half of the love theme is shown throught the actions of Hearton and
Catherine. The intertwineing of the ideas of revenge and love prove to give
Heathcliff a distored vision of love and Cathy a need for such a love that only
Heathcliff can give to her. Where as Catherine and Hearton, the second
generation, learn from the experiences of the earlier generation that lived at
Wuthering Heights. The first memories Heathcliff has of life at Wuthering
Heights is that of being unequal. Hindley showed no other act to him but
cruelty. Hindley’s brutality, tyranny, and murderous violence far outdo
anything of which Heathcliff can be cused on the evidence (Langman 143). The
theme of revenge grows from the treatment Heathcliff recieves from is Hindley.
His prime motivation is love , or to be more precise the lack of love. He
decides to persecute Heathcliff , because he feels this later has usurped his
position in his father ‘s love. He refuses to allow the curate to continue
Heathcliff’s education and forces the still very young boy to work as a
farm-hand. Here is one of the first exaples of idea of revenge when Heathcliff
says: "I don’t care how long I wait , if I can only doe it , at last
(Bronte 47).” Heathcliff’s violence and cruelty are by contrast are not
random and irresponsible, they are a willed. He has certain goals- power, money,
a triumph over the circumstances and agents of his former humiliation- and he
uses force and deceit to reach them (Langman 143). The event that was crucial in
driving away Heatchcliff was Cathy’s decision to marry Linton, in which she
says: “I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in
Heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I
shouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heatchcliff now
(Bronte 63);” While witnessing this speech he become outraged and runs away
from Wuthering Heights. While away, Heathcliff transforms himself into a
gentleman, in hopes of getting back Catherine. Upon returning to Wuthering
heights, he discovers that Catherine has married Edgar, the plan of revenge
grows from that idea of the loss of Cathy. The first part of the plan involves
getting back at Edgar, the man who singularly took away his happiness, and then
to commit suicide. The moment Cathernine’s ardent welcome proves she still
loves him, however, he abandons this plan and adopts another - that of taking up
residence again at Wuthering Heights in order to be once more in her vicinity
(Hagan 146). The reasoning behind this is to try once more to gain back the love
of Catherine. The third part of the plan deal with the the hopes of becoming
master of the Heights and the Grange. This is done to take revenge against all
of the Earnshaws and the Lintons collectively. This final act of revenge is the
marriage of Cathy and his son Linton: “Mr. Heathcliff, you have nobody to love
you: and, however miserable you make us, we still have the revenge of thinking
that your cruelty arises from your greater misery!(Bronte 218)” This union
completed the journey of revenge for Heathcliff. With that union Heathcliff
gains control of Thrushcroft Grange. This great passion in the need for revenge
an administering acts of cruelty help the reader to in understanding his basis
of emotions. This explains the misunderstood definition of love he understands.
Which I will now discuss is love between Heathcliff and Cathy. Love is expressed
in two entiresly different ideas. The first type of love is that kind that
occures between Heathcliff and Cathy, which a kind of love definded by that of
need. The secondly type is that of Hareton and Catherine, this type of love is
more of a true type of love. Barbara Prentis, author of The Brote Sister and
George Eliot, thinks that the ideas of love expressed by the characters are in
fact, reflected not by Brontes own life because “this girl seeked no comfort
in earth, no husband, no lover, no close companionship, could write of these
things in poetry and her novel with such integrity and conviction”(99). The
first type of love is referred to by other authors as mythical, inhuman, a love
of suffering, and that of a tragic love. The first example of this oneness type
of felling for love occurs when Cathy says: “Whatever our souls are made of,
his and mine are the same (Bronte 62).” This lead way to one of the most
influential speeches made by Cathy about her feelings toward Heathcliff. In
which she states: “If all else perished, and he remained, and he were
annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a
part of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will
change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff
resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but
necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff. He’s always, always in my mind: not as a
pleasure, any more than I am always pleasure to myself, but as my own being. So
don’t talk of our separation again: it is impracticable....(Bronte 63-64).”
“This declaration of Cathy’s feelings is an endeavor not so much to convey
the strength as to define the nature of her love, and so to win a recognition
from Nell (and, in a sense, from the reader) of it value (Langman 141).” In
which she has defined her feeling toward Heathcliff and Linton in describing the
different basis of her feelings. She explains she must love him, that it is part
of her nature. “Through her feeling toward Heathcliff, Catherine discovers her
own identity, her place in the world - as he does through her (Langman 141).”
These ideas she expresses explain to us the felling of the deepest kind of
passion she knows and that it is part of her being. This is a love which longs
for a soul unity with the beloved. Another example of this love occurs in the
last meeting between Heathcliff and Cathy. In which she continues to feel the
actal love that Heathcliff encompasses for her. Cathy says: “... and should a
word of mine distress you hearafter, think I feel the same distress underground,
and for my own sake, forgive me!... Nay, if you nurse you anger, that will be
worse to remember that my harsh words! .....Oh you see, Nelly! He would not
relent a moment to keep me out of the grave! That is how I am loved (Brote
123-124)!” She is confessing that she is going to die. She is also taunting
with the image of himself visiting her grave with is wife and children. She
questions that who will ever love now that she is gone.
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