Abuse Of Power In Wuthering Heights

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Emily Brontë’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights, centers around a small neighborhood consisting of just two properties, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. The characters within this neighborhood have little to no contact with people outside their community, and despite their troubles within the neighborhood, they rarely decide to leave. Among the characters living in this enclosed society, including Heathcliff, Hindley, and Catherine Earnshaw, there is a recurring theme of the desire for power and the wish to climb their social ladder, even though they live within a two household community. As a result of their ambitions to raise their status amongst their few neighbors, the characters in the book turn to unconventional acts, which many…show more content…
Throughout the book, Heathcliff clearly shows his selfishness and anger by being hostile to Cathy Linton. Heathcliff traps Cathy and Nelly in Wuthering Heights, and does not allow them to leave until Cathy agrees to, and is married to his son Linton. This is because Heathcliff insists on becoming the most dominant figure of the novel, and will take whatever harsh measures necessary to get there. Heathcliff knows that by forcing Cathy to marry Linton, he will become owner of the Grange through inheritance once Edgar and Linton die. When he is able to obtain possession of both properties, Heathcliff will officially be the most powerful, and take the highest position on the social hierarchy. However, in order to achieve this, Heathcliff traps Cathy in Wuthering Heights, and doesn’t allow her to sit with her father on his deathbed. He additionally forces Cathy and Linton (who are first cousins) into an incestuous marriage, something that is considered an abhorrent act. He additionally deals with Cathy and Nelly harshly while they are locked away in Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff says to Cathy, “Keep your eft’s fingers off; and move, or I’ll kick you! I’d rather be hugged by a snake. How the devil can you dream of fawning on me? I detest you!” (202). This clearly demonstrates Heathcliff’s harsh methods and the brutal language he uses in order to gain the power he so desires throughout the novel. Heathcliff doesn’t care who he hurts, and doesn’t let anything get in his way of power. This includes using his own son as bait to lure Cathy into Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff strives to retrieve the Grange, and ultimately be the success no one thought he could be, using only harsh and obscene methods to get
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