The Power of Love in Wuthering Heights Essay

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Wuthering Heights is a novel which deviates from the standard of Victorian literature. The novels of the Victorian Era were often works of social criticism. They generally had a moral purpose and promoted ideals of love and brotherhood. Wuthering Heights is more of a Victorian Gothic novel; it contains passion, violence, and supernatural elements (Mitchell 119). The world of Wuthering Heights seems to be a world without morals. In Wuthering Heights, Brontë does not idealize love; she presents it realistically, with all its faults and merits. She shows that love is a powerful force which can be destructive or redemptive. Heathcliff has an all-consuming passion for Catherine. When she chooses to marry Edgar, his spurned love turns into a …show more content…
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). When Heathcliff returns three years later, his love for Catherine motivates him to enact revenge upon all those who separated him from her. Since he last saw Catherine, he has “fought through a bitter life”; he “struggled only for [her]” (Brontë 71). Nelly observes a “half-civilized ferocity” in Heathcliff’s brows (Brontë 70); she views him as “an evil beast…waiting his time to spring and destroy” (Brontë 79). Heathcliff’s obsessive love for Catherine becomes a menacing threat. Heathcliff reproaches Catherine because she “treated [him]
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