Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights: Mental Illness and Feminism

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Psychoanalytical View of Wuthering Heights
Mental illness was viewed as being a self-inflicted disease during the time period Wuthering Heights was written in (Bloomfield 298). Many of the characters suffer from a form of mental illness, but not all of them can be seen as self-inflicted. Most of the illnesses are inflicted by the death of other characters. After Hindley’s wife dies in his arms, he becomes an alcoholic and foreshadows his own death due to his destructive behavior (Bloomfield 291). Hindley’s terminal alcoholism changes his personality, and gambling causes him to lose everything he possessed; including his son. He uses alcohol to suppress the sadness of losing his wife (Bloomfield 295). Hindley’s behavior and alcoholic
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Psychoanalytical View of Wuthering Heights
Mental illness was viewed as being a self-inflicted disease during the time period Wuthering Heights was written in (Bloomfield 298). Many of the characters suffer from a form of mental illness, but not all of them can be seen as self-inflicted. Most of the illnesses are inflicted by the death of other characters. After Hindley’s wife dies in his arms, he becomes an alcoholic and foreshadows his own death due to his destructive behavior (Bloomfield 291). Hindley’s terminal alcoholism changes his personality, and gambling causes him to lose everything he possessed; including his son. He uses alcohol to suppress the sadness of losing his wife (Bloomfield 295). Hindley’s behavior and alcoholic disposition allows Heathcliff to take over his home and his life simply because he cannot face his past (Bloomfield 291). Hindley’s behavior sets him up to be an alcoholic from the beginning of the novel based on what people believed during this time period (Bloomfield 297). Alcoholism was seen as a self-inflicted disease and was connected to violence, bankruptcy, and family destruction. All of these attributes are congruent to Hindley’s characterization, and his lifestyle would have been seen as socially unacceptable (Bloomfield 296). Hindley’s addiction to alcohol would come from the Ego portion of his brain because it was used to suppress his grief. Unlike Hindley, the other characters illnesses seemed to be brought on by love.