Essay, Research Paper: Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte

Literature: Wuthering Heights

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Love is an amazing emotion. People spend much of their lives searching for true
love. When true love is found, people will do everything possible to hold on to
and cherish it for eternity. It is said that true love can only be found once in
a lifetime that is filled with intense everlasting emotions. A classic example
of this powerful emotion is displayed by the characters Heathcliff and Catherine
Earnshaw in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. Wuthering Heights examines a
passionate and overwhelming love between its central characters, Cathy and
Heathcliff. Their love is profound and filled with passion unlike any other. Its
intensity builds from their childhood until the untimely death of Catherine. The
extent of this love is exemplified during Heathcliff and Catherine’s
interactions with each other, during Catherine’s statements to Nelly, and
during Catherine’s death where Heathcliff and Catherine embrace for the last
time. When Catherine and Heathcliff were young, they would “run away to the
moors in the morning and remain there all day”(44). They spent a lot of time
together playing like children. It is in this time that they create their
everlasting bond. Catherine and Heathcliff spend almost every waking hour
together and inevitably fall in love. Whenever Catherine and Heathcliff talk
about their love, their tone is high and wild. No words could possibly express
the great passion they share, yet it becomes obvious in their “interactions
together”. At one point, Catherine stays at Thrushcross Grange for five weeks
and comes back a different woman and her appearance seems more refined and
polished. She has been influenced by the Lintons, particularly Edgar who she has
developed an infatuation with. She has changed and “seems” to look at
Heathcliff in a different manner. Catherine says to him “Why how very black
and cross you look! and how-how funny and grim!”(52). Heathcliff can’t
believe his ears. He is so angry that he refuses to shake hands with her: “I
shall not stand to be laughed at, I shall not bear it”(52). Heathcliff wonders
later if she misses him: “Do you suppose she has nearly forgotten me? Every
thought she spends on Linton, she spends a thousand on me”(149). The thought
of Catherine loving another is unfathomable to Heathcliff, but he is convinced
that she still loves him more. Here again, even when there is not an obvious
display of love, it lies just below the surface of their interactions. Another
side of the love shared between Catherine and Heathcliff is revealed in
statements by Catherine to the servant Nelly Dean: “Whatever souls are made
of, his and mine are the same...Nelly I am Heathcliff”(182). Catherine loves
Heathcliff so much that she feels that they share the same soul. Nothing can
ever break this bond. Catherine herself then compares her love for Edgar and her
love for Heathcliff: “My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods.
Time will change it...My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks
beneath-a source of little visible delight, but necessary”(82). It is as
though she realizes the superficial love she has for Edgar and the eternal love
she has for Heathcliff. Catherine knows she is about to marry the wrong man.
What she does not realize is that this mistake will eventually bring about her
demise. While Catherine layed on her deathbed, she is visited by Heathcliff. In
this last interaction, they throw accusations of betrayal at each other with
fiery intensity. In Catherine’s delirium, she realizes her mistake of marrying
Edgar, but knows now there is nothing she can do about it. She in on the verge
of death, and deeply regrets betraying her heart: Why did you despise me? Why
did you betray your own heart Cathy? I have not one word of comfort-you deserve
this. You have killed yourself. Yes, you may kiss me and cry; and wring out my
kisses and tears...you loved me-then what right had you to leave me? I have not
broken you heart...and in breaking it, you have broken mine(161). Heathcliff is
clearly angry at Catherine but he still loves her. He embraces her before he
leaves, wishing that he could just hold her forever. After Catherine dies,
Heathcliff becomes very distraught and feels that he cannot survive alone. He
curses her spirit out of anger and betrayal: “May she wake in torment...May
you not rest as long as I am living...Oh God! It is unutterable! I cannot live
without my life! I cannot live without my soul”(167). Heathcliff does not want
her soul to rest. He wishes for her to haunt him so that they can be together,
at least partially, but yet eternally. Catherine and Heathcliff in Emily
Bronte’s Wuthering Heights travel an intense and passionate road. Their
intense and passionate love is evident in their interations with each other,
their interactions with others, and especially their last interaction when
Catherine is on the verge of dying. With the love they share, Catherine and
Heathcliff endure many hardships in their journey. Mistakes are made and regret
is formed. However, they have built their love on the foundation of their souls,
which will last for an eternity. In death they will roam together, their souls
intertwined as one. Nothing can separate them now.
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