Heathcliff is a character defined by his sympathetic past. Growing up as an orphan from a tender age, deprived of a structured family and family support system, exposed to the negative influences life offered, it is almost a certainty that his behaviour will not be that of an ideal gentleman.
To begin, Heathcliff uses Isabella as a means of exacting revenge on Edgar Linton, whom he despises. When Heathcliff finds out Isabella is in love with him, he is delighted. His pleasure comes not from a mutual like for Isabella, but rather a vision for revenging Edgar. After Catherine lets slip that Isabella is in love with him, Heathcliff says to her, “...and if you fancy I’ll suffer unrevenged, I’ll convince you of the contrary, in a very little while! Meantime, thank you for telling me your sister-in-law’s secret: I swear I’ll make the most of it. And stand you aside!”(112). Heathcliff’s comment
Catherine Earnshaw appears to be a woman who is free spirited. However, Catherine is also quite self-centered. She clearly states that her love for Edgar Linton does not match how much she loves Heathcliff. She is saying that she does love both, and she is unwilling to give one up for the other; she wants “Heathcliff for her friend”. Catherine admits that her love for Linton is “like the foliage in the woods”; however, her love for
While Wuthering Heights was a symbol of darkness and winter, Thrushcross Grange could only be described as its opposite. Thrushcross Grange can be seen as a happy place that is light and summery. Its inhabitants are blissful and naive. They did not worry or have to fend for themselves because there is always money and servants to wait on them. The inhabitants of the house are ignorant of the cruelties and injustices of the outside world. When Isabella, Edgar's sister, marries Heathcliff and is taken to the Heights, she too learns these realities and is destroyed by them. She is imprisoned in the Heights by her husband. Isabella writes Nelly and describes her depression;
In this chapter, we see that Catherine has changed drastically from being a wild savage to a young mannered lady. Shockingly, we can see the distinctive difference between Heathcliff and Catherine's character. They were once the same, but this chapter serves as the platform to highlight the contrasting differences between these lovers. On one hand, one can argue that it develops their relationship immensely.
The novel ‘Wuthering Heights’ (1847) by Emily Brontë and the film adaptation ‘Wuthering Heights’ (2011) by Andrea Arnold each convey respective values and perspectives reflective of the contrasting contexts and forms of each text. The novel, set in the Romantic period, is centred around two families living on the isolated, Yorkshire moors, and the explosive interactions between them. The concept of confinement contrasts against the freedom of nature throughout the novel. Nature is another key theme and a fundamental aspect of the Romantic period, used to present ideas such as rebellion and freedom. Finally, passion within human relationships is thoroughly explored through Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationship within the novel. However, as the film adaptation is a product of a contemporary post-feminist, post-colonial time period, these themes can now be explored through lenses such as racial discrimination, feminism, and human connection.
Yet, not only are the images of Wuthering Heights similar to that of Heathcliff, but both are described using similar adjectives. Wuthering Heights is illustrated as a hostile ‘grotesque’ dwelling, with ’strong narrow windows, deeply set in the walls, the corners defended with large, jutting stones’ (I, 1). This is similar to descriptions of Heathcliff: his ‘savage’ face has ‘brows lowering, the eyes deep-set and singular with black eyes withdrawn so suspiciously under their brow’ (I, 10). Heathcliff’s temperament is therefore exemplified and detailed through the setting in which he is shown, showing the relationship between the character and his setting.
"My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff" (81)" These words, uttered by Catherine, in the novel Wuthering Heights are for me the starting point in my investigation into the themes of love and obsession in the novel. Catherine has just told her housekeeper that she has made up her mind to marry Edgar Linton, although she is well aware that her love for him is bound to change as time passes. That she is obsessed by her love for Heathcliff she confirms in the above quotation and by saying that she will never, ever be separated from him. Why does she not marry him then? Well, she has
“We love with a love that was more than love” stated by a famous poet by the name of Edgar Allen Poe. True love can appear deeper than the surface. Repeatedly humans confide in their brain on who they are “infatuated” and make decisions based upon that. Emily Bronte depicts this well in her outstanding novel “Wuthering Heights.” In the story, two characters by the name of Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw are constantly yearning for each throughout the novel but under certain circumstances can be wed together. As an adopted child, Heathcliff comes into the family and attaches himself to Catherine. However, another character by the name of Edgar Linton, similarly loves Catherine but is the complete contrast of Heathcliff. Coming from a well-off family, Linton is almost a picture perfect of what society wants in a male being wealthy, respectful, and highly intelligent. On the other hand, Heathcliff is a poor, uncivilized, and simple-minded child. Bronte indicates in her narrative in a “what-if” situation based on the love between them both. Creating scenario, she creates a blurry line in between wrong and right choice for love. Nonetheless, “logical choice” is not always the correct choice nor is it a clear-cut choice. The author asks a question of “If it is a choice between the rational and true love, which do you chose?” Because of this, Bronte makes readers
"What is it to you?" he growled. "I have a right to kiss her, if she chooses, and you have no right to object. I am not your husband: you needn't be jealous of me!"( Bronte’s Chapter 11). In this quote, Heathcliff has sought his revenge on Catherine, for snubbing him, and Edgar, for always dismissing him, by marrying Isabella. This act of revenge paves the way for future divisions between Heathcliff and the Lintons. It also further damages Catherine and Heathcliff as they adjust to life without each other. The deepening pain they experience adds intensity to their passionate fall out later in the
It is the opinion of this essay that the character of Heathcliff evolves a lot more than the character of Catherine. When we first meet Heathcliff, he was found on the streets of Liverpool by Catherine’s father who then adopts him into the family as one of his own. This would have been a dramatic change for Heathcliff. Then after experiencing this quality of life until the death of the father he is then cast into the role of a servant/labourer by Catherine’s brother who despises him. Finally, when Heathcliff hears part of the conversation between Catherine and Nelly, he hears Catherine plans to marry Edgar Linton as she could never marry Heathcliff. “It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now”. (82) It is here Heathcliff leaves Wuthering Heights and returns three years later, a gentleman of means and of polite demeanour, not what you would expect from him. Here we can bring back the point that one’s environment dramatically affects one’s behaviour. Like Catherine, Heathcliff defies social norms expected of his gender. After he returns back from travelling having acquired great wealth and on the surface seems a changed man, he would be accepted into middle class society as he displays the characteristics expected of him. It is well described in the book to enforce the dramatic change in him for readers to understand how far he has come from
Heathcliff resents her scorn. He desires to regain her approval. He attempts to be “decent” and “good” for her sake (Brontë 40). However, his attempt to be decent fails miserably. He resents the attentions that Catherine gives to Edgar. Catherine would rather wear a “silly frock” and have dinner with “silly friends” than ramble about the moors with him (Brontë 50). Heathcliff keeps track of the evenings Catherine spends with Edgar and those that she spends with him. He desperately wants to be with Catherine. When Catherine announces to Nelly her engagement to Edgar, Heathcliff eavesdrops, but leaves the room when he “heard Catherine say it would degrade her to marry him” (Brontë 59). Catherine has spurned his love, choosing Edgar over him. Heathcliff cannot bear this rejection. The love he possesses for her transcends romantic and filial love (Mitchell 124). He feels that he is one with her (Mitchell 123).
While at Thrushcross Grange, she grows infatuated with Edgar, despite her love for Heathcliff. Edgar came from an upper class family as well and took care of her when she was in a dog accident. This leads to her acceptance of Edgar Linton’s marriage proposal despite her statements regarding her love for Heathcliff. Heathcliff overhears unfortunate passages of Catherine's discourse and disappears for a period during which he mysteriously makes his fortune and changes irrevocably from the person he was. Vengeance consumes him, and Heathcliff attempts to destroy the lives of those who wronged him, (as well as their children). Ultimately, Heathcliff’s bitterly executed vengeance is effaced by a love between Hareton and Cathy that mirrors Heathcliff’s own love for Catherine. Hareton is Catherine’s nephew and Cathy is Catherine’s daughter, which makes the two first cousins.
This leads to him running away from the heights entirely, leaving Catherine to marry Edgar. “He had listened till he heard Catherine say it would degrade her to marry him.” (81). Upon his return (two years later), Heathcliff marries Isabella to get back at Catherine, and her speech about how marrying him would degrade her. Isabella is also taken against her and her family’s will. Heathcliff kidnaps her and locks her away at the heights. In a letter written to Nelly, Isabella confirms that it was truly against her will for her leaving, and that she cannot return in the time of crisis in her brother’s life. “… an entreaty for kind remembrance and reconciliation, if her proceeding offended him: asserting that she could not help it then, and being done, no power to repeal it.” (140). In the act of kidnapping Isabella, Heathcliff’s intent is to hurt Catherine. Catherine would develop almost a jealous-like temper towards the whole situation, as Heathcliff knew it would. Even on Catherine’s deathbed, there is a constant push and pull (in almost a literal sense) of the cruelty that goes on between the two of them. Between the crying, the vexing, and the constant apologies, comes the brutal cruelty of the words Catherine speaks to Heathcliff. “I shall not pity you, not I. You have killed me – and thriven on it, I think.” (164)