Heathcliff And Catherine Earnshaw In Emily BronteS

Heathcliff And Catherine Earnshaw In Emily Bronte?S “Wuthering Heights” Essay, Research Paper

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


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


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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