Wuthering Heights Essay Research Paper When Wuthering

Wuthering Heights Essay, Research Paper

When Wuthering Heights was published it was blasted it?s contemporaries as

obscene. They railed that Catherine and Heathcliff were the most immoral and in

general worst people they had ever had the misfortune of reading about. Although

Wuthering Heights has taken it’s rightful place as masterwork of 19th century

literature and Emily Bront? has receive credit for her work, it is still

possible to see where the early attacks are based. Heathcliff especially behaves

in a very obtuse manner. The basis for this behavior is Heathcliff’s bizarre

love/hate relationship with Catherine. His frustrated desire to be with her

causes him deep personal pain, which he transfers to other characters in a

sadistic attempt to force them to feel that pain as well. Heathcliff and

Catherine’s relationship is neither stable nor in any way normal. Instead it is

full of violent emotions which are either soaring high or dashingly low, with

very little between the two. Catherine declares that she and Heathcliff

"Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same"(73).

Heathcliff desires nothing more than to be with Catherine, but their

relationship is undermined by the revelation that Catherine feels that "it

would degrade me to marry Heathcliff . . ."(73). Heathcliff was unsuitable

to Catherine because he is poor with no family. However, Edgar Linton has both

and for those shallow reasons Catherine marries Edgar betraying Heathcliff?s

feelings for her and her own feeling as well. Catherine had hoped to marry Edgar

but also to keep on loving Heathcliff as well, to "have her cake and eat it

too". The violence, hatred, love, and passion of Catherine and

Heathcliff?s relationship is encapsulated in their "conversation" on

Catherine’s deathbed: He [Heathcliff] could hardly bear, for downright agony, to

look into her face. . . . She was fated, sure to die. ?Oh, Cathy! Oh, my life!

How can I bear it??[Heathcliff speaking] . . . . . . . . . . . . [Catherine

speaking,]?I shall not pity you, not I. You have killed me? and thriven on

it, I think. . . How may years do you mean to live on after I am gone? . . . . .

. . . . . . . I shouldn?t care what you suffered. I care nothing for your

sufferings. Why shouldn?t you suffer? I do!? . . . . . . . . . . . . [Heathcliff

answers,]?You know you lie to say I have killed you: . . . I could as soon

forget you as my own existence! Is it not sufficient for your infernal

selfishness, that while you are at peace I shall writhe in the torments of hell?

. . . . . . . . . . . . How cruel you?ve been?cruel and false. . . . . . . .

. . . . . I have not broken your heart?you have broken it; and in breaking it

have broken mine. . . . What kind of living will it be when ? oh, God! Would

you like to live with your soul in the grave??(147-48) Love and hate are so

closely entwined that they are both expressed in a single sentence. No one will

call that exchange ?normal? but it contains the essence of their

relationship. Despite the barbs of blame for the situation being thrown there is

no doubt that Catherine?s death pains Heathcliff to the very soul. Heathcliff

becomes determined to share the pain caused by Catherine’s betrayal and her

death. The victims of his deranged vengeance are Isabella Linton, Edgar Linton,

Linton Heathcliff, and Catherine Linton II. "The more the worms writhe, the

more I yearn to crush out their entails!"(140). Clearly a sadistic attitude

and one that makes it absolutely clear that Heathcliff’s marriage to Isabella is

a revenge on both Catherine and Edgar. The marriage of Heathcliff to her

sister-in-law is emotionally damaging to an already frail Catherine. Edgar, who

despises Heathcliff throughout the novel, is shock and very nearly disowns his

sister for marrying a ruffian like Heathcliff. So Heathcliff gets vengeance on

Edgar as well. Poor Isabella is caught with a man who does not, in fact never,

loved her. She writes Nelly, "". There is another motivation for the

marriage: money. Though his marriage with Isabella Heathcliff has placed himself

in line for not just money, but Edgar Linton’s money. With Catherine and

Isabella’s deaths and the birth of Catherine II and Linton Heathcliff,

Heathcliff continues his manipulations into another generation. The forced

marriage between first cousins Catherine II and Linton, with all is a

accompanying duplicity, is a the final act of revenge. The subsequent deaths of

Edgar Linton and Linton Heathcliff leave Wuthering Heights and the Grange in

Heathcliff’s possession. The vengeance is complete: Heathcliff has everything

dear to Edgar, his property and his daughter; the younger Catherine, because he

could not control her mother and he may feels that shre should have been his and

Catherine?s daughter; and Hinley’s son is turning out to be another Heathcliff.

Complete victory for Heathcliff, but then a strange thing happens: Heathcliff

starts to mellow. He seems to realize that however complete his vengeance it

gets him no closer to Catherine, her shade still wonders the moors. Heathcliff

professes to Nelly, "she has disturbed me, night and day, through eighteen

years" (264). It is when Heathcliff prepares to spent eternity with

Catherine that he final finds peace, with her and himself. Catherine?s coffin,

buried for eighteen years, is dug up and a panel removed so Heathcliff?s

remains can mingle with her?s. With Heathcliff?s death there is at last

peace at Wuthering Heights. He and Catherine are together for all time. The

property, both Wuthering Height and the Grange have been returned to their

rightful owners Hareton Earshaw and Catherine II. Heathcliff had schemed to

leave her destitute, but she will end up with both properties after her marriage

to Hareton. A full circle has been completed and everything is as it should be,



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