Themes of Love and Obsession in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

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Themes of Love and Obsession in Wuthering Heights

"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
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Your welcome has put these ideas out of my mind; but beware of meeting me with another aspect next time."

As a consequence of Heathcliff's visit to the Grange, Edgar's sister Isabella falls in love with him, and her feelings seem to be sincere. In this one-sided love affair Heathcliff takes advantage of the innocent girl's infatuation to foster his obsession for revenge. (Isabella is her brother's heir). Catherine's reaction is very hard to interpret. It is natural that she is jealous, if she still feels the same for him as before, and that may be the reason why she dissuades Isabella from marrying Heathcliff. But the words she uses, telling her what an abominable creature Heathcliff is, are not the sort you expect to hear from someone talking of a sweetheart. Later on when her husband and Heathcliff are having a quarrel, she stops Edgar from hurting her friend . There is an excess of emotion, and her explanation to this behaviour is that she wants them both, Edgar and Heathcliff: "Well, if I cannot keep Heathcliff for my friend - if Edgar will be mean and jealous, I'll try to break their hearts by breaking my own" (109).Her love for Heathcliff has not cooled down, instead it seems to be a stronger obsession than ever considering the torments she goes through, when she becomes seriously ill.The last time Catherine and Heathcliff see each other is a very heart-rending meeting. Their love for each other is as strong as ever, and Heathcliff