Wuthering HeightsIn the novel, Whuthering Heights, Emily Bronte has created one of the mostcontroversial novel in the 19th century. Bronte has written a novel thatcontains many views of complex ideas.
Revenge and love revenge are examples ofsuch. 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. Theother half of the love theme is shown throught the actions of Hearton andCatherine.
The intertwineing of the ideas of revenge and love prove to giveHeathcliff a distored vision of love and Cathy a need for such a love that onlyHeathcliff can give to her. Where as Catherine and Hearton, the secondgeneration, learn from the experiences of the earlier generation that lived atWuthering Heights. The first memories Heathcliff has of life at WutheringHeights is that of being unequal. Hindley showed no other act to him butcruelty. Hindley’s brutality, tyranny, and murderous violence far outdoanything of which Heathcliff can be cused on the evidence (Langman 143). Thetheme 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. Hedecides to persecute Heathcliff , because he feels this later has usurped hisposition in his father ?s love. He refuses to allow the curate to continueHeathcliff’s education and forces the still very young boy to work as afarm-hand. Here is one of the first exaples of idea of revenge when Heathcliffsays: “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 notrandom and irresponsible, they are a willed. He has certain goals- power, money,a triumph over the circumstances and agents of his former humiliation- and heuses force and deceit to reach them (Langman 143). The event that was crucial indriving away Heatchcliff was Cathy’s decision to marry Linton, in which shesays: “I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be inHeaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, Ishouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heatchcliff now(Bronte 63);” While witnessing this speech he become outraged and runs awayfrom Wuthering Heights.
While away, Heathcliff transforms himself into agentleman, in hopes of getting back Catherine. Upon returning to Wutheringheights, he discovers that Catherine has married Edgar, the plan of revengegrows from that idea of the loss of Cathy. The first part of the plan involvesgetting back at Edgar, the man who singularly took away his happiness, and thento commit suicide. The moment Cathernine’s ardent welcome proves she stillloves him, however, he abandons this plan and adopts another – that of taking upresidence 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 loveof Catherine. The third part of the plan deal with the the hopes of becomingmaster of the Heights and the Grange.
This is done to take revenge against allof the Earnshaws and the Lintons collectively. This final act of revenge is themarriage of Cathy and his son Linton: “Mr. Heathcliff, you have nobody to loveyou: and, however miserable you make us, we still have the revenge of thinkingthat your cruelty arises from your greater misery!(Bronte 218)” This unioncompleted the journey of revenge for Heathcliff. With that union Heathcliffgains control of Thrushcroft Grange. This great passion in the need for revengean administering acts of cruelty help the reader to in understanding his basisof emotions.
This explains the misunderstood definition of love he understands. Which I will now discuss is love between Heathcliff and Cathy. Love is expressedin two entiresly different ideas. The first type of love is that kind thatoccures between Heathcliff and Cathy, which a kind of love definded by that ofneed.
The secondly type is that of Hareton and Catherine, this type of love ismore of a true type of love. Barbara Prentis, author of The Brote Sister andGeorge Eliot, thinks that the ideas of love expressed by the characters are infact, reflected not by Brontes own life because “this girl seeked no comfortin earth, no husband, no lover, no close companionship, could write of thesethings in poetry and her novel with such integrity and conviction”(99). Thefirst type of love is referred to by other authors as mythical, inhuman, a loveof suffering, and that of a tragic love. The first example of this oneness typeof 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 mostinfluential speeches made by Cathy about her feelings toward Heathcliff.
Inwhich she states: “If all else perished, and he remained, and he wereannihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem apart of it. My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time willchange it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliffresembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, butnecessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff. He’s always, always in my mind: not as apleasure, any more than I am always pleasure to myself, but as my own being. Sodon’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 conveythe strength as to define the nature of her love, and so to win a recognitionfrom Nell (and, in a sense, from the reader) of it value (Langman 141). ” Inwhich she has defined her feeling toward Heathcliff and Linton in describing thedifferent basis of her feelings. She explains she must love him, that it is partof her nature. “Through her feeling toward Heathcliff, Catherine discovers herown 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 ofpassion she knows and that it is part of her being. This is a love which longsfor a soul unity with the beloved. Another example of this love occurs in thelast meeting between Heathcliff and Cathy. In which she continues to feel theactal love that Heathcliff encompasses for her.
Cathy says: “. . . and should aword 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 beworse to remember that my harsh words! . . . . .
Oh you see, Nelly! He would notrelent a moment to keep me out of the grave! That is how I am loved (Brote123-124)!” She is confessing that she is going to die. She is also tauntingwith the image of himself visiting her grave with is wife and children. Shequestions that who will ever love now that she is gone.