Themes In Wuthering Heights Essay, Research Paper
Themes in Wuthering Heights
Good versus Evil–
(also love and hate) The power of good is stronger than the power of evil and good will someday dominate. Also that all our striving here on earth amounts to nothing, and it is not until we are dead and face to face with our creator that we shall find our happiness or doom. Bront? is most interested in the spiritual feelings for her characters, making contact with an existence beyond this life on earth. The difference between that feeling that Catherine has for Heathcliff and the one she feels for Linton is that Heathcliff is a part of her nature while Edgar is only a part of her superficial love. It is a spiritual love rather than a physical one that binds Heathcliff and Catherine together.
This is the most dominant theme of the second half of the novel, although in the last chapter Heathcliff abandons his plan for revenge. Heathcliff first believes that if he can avenge the death of Catherine that he will somehow grow closer to her. However, the exact opposite occurs. When Heathcliff gives up on his plan for revenge, he is soon reunited with Catherine in eternal bliss.
Crime and Punishment–
All the characters have sinned in one way or another and in the end they are all punished for their crimes. However, Cathy and Hareton are not corrupt in any way and they are the ones who finally destroy the evil between their families in the next generation.
Passion versus Rational Love–
Passion is what divided Catherine from Edgar. Catherine’s passion for Heathcliff ruined the lives of so many people at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. The whole story revolved around the passion that Catherine and Heathcliff felt for each other. Edgar, on the other hand, felt a more reasonable love for Catherine. Catherine was devoted to Edgar, yet was in love with Heathcliff.
Ignorance versus Education–
From the beginning, the reader can deduce that the Lintons are at a higher social status than the residents at Wuthering Heights. This is partly due to the fact that the Lintons are better educated than the laborers at the Heights. Young Cathy’s love for reading has a direct effect on Hareton Earnshaw’s pursuits at becoming literate.
The selfishness was first introduced when Mr. Earnshaw brought home Heathcliff and presented him to the family. Because he took a fancy to this young waif, the rest of the generations following Mr. Earnshaw’s life will suffer. Heathcliff was probably the most selfish person in all of Wuthering Heights. He ruined Catherine’s life when he disappeared for three years. He also ruined Isabella’s life by marrying her only for revenge. Heathcliff forced young Cathy to marry Linton and then later killed the poor sickly boy through neglect. These are only the major actions that show Heathcliff’s selfishness. Catherine’s selfish character was depicted when she wanted both Edgar and Heathcliff at the same time. Catherine wanted Edgar for his life and Heathcliff for his soul. She didn’t want to choose between the two of them, and therefore she never did. Thus, she caused pain for Heathcliff and Edgar.