Demise of a Soulmate in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Essay

Decent Essays

Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights, set in the countryside of England’s 1700’s, features a character named Heathcliff, who is brought into the Earnshaw family as a young boy and quickly falls into a passionate, blinding romance with the Earnshaw’s daughter, Catherine. However, Heathcliff is soon crushed by this affection when his beloved chooses the company of another man rather than his own. For the remainder of the novel he exudes a harsh, aversive attitude that remains perduring until his demise that is induced by the loss of his soulmate, and in turn the bereavement of the person to whom the entirety of his being and his very own self were bound. Catherine and Heathcliff reveal their fervent devotion and affection for each other …show more content…

Nearly all the members of his household, and even those beyond his own domain, experience his rage, as his temperament prevents any of his attempts at retribution to be thwarted. This is evident as he falls into a state of insanity, retreating further and further into a fantasy in which he is once again united with she who has always held his heart. “He muttered detached words also; the only one I could catch was the name of Catherine, coupled with some wild term of endearment or suffering…low and earnest, and wrung from the depth of his soul.” (309-310) This account given by Nelly concerning Heathcliff evinces his feelings of longing and the extent to which those feelings run within his fate-victimized self. Moreover, he himself states, albeit in semi-vague terms, the reason for his loss in ability to enjoy their Cathy and Hareton’s destruction. He states, “I have a single wish, and my whole being and faculty are yearning to attain it…it has devoured my existence.” (303) With this confession he proves the incentment to many of his often cruel and abusive actions to be his beloved’s death. Separate from Heathcliff and Catherine’s interactions with each other, the former’s desire for vengeance for the injustice done to him with the latter’s quietus are inflicted on those who most remind him of the love he lost. One particular scene in which Heathcliff walks in on Cathy teaching his nephew to read has Nelly remarking on how

Get Access