One of the most precious classics of all time, Wuthering Heights is a love story which defied its contemporaries at that time. The tragic events surrounding the first generation of lovers – whose love transpired within the confines of the mansion in the moors – portrayed the passionate intensity of how vengeance form out of love. The work of Emily Bronte first released in 1847, centered on the tangled lives of the main characters Catherine and Heathcliff, where each of the character’s behavior has been shaped by the people surrounding them and their love for one another.
Unlike the other tragic romance novels, the relationship of Catherine and Heathcliff has been bounded by the endless chase of an eternal love affair with each other, driven by grief and revenge. The complexity of the structure on how the novel has been narrated gives a clear image of the long and deep-seated motivation behind Heathcliff’s vengeance. The anti-hero that Heathcliff has always been, he is depicted as a dark brooding man blinded by his intensities and driven by his murky past.
Catherine, on the other hand, is a high-spirited girl torn by her conflicting desires to embrace the sophistication of the Lintons and her love for Heathcliff, who grew up as a brute, barbaric young man very much opposite of the more socially acceptable Edgar. The characters’ weaknesses can be considered to be highlighted more than their strengths – where the characters’ realistic portrayal appears more humanly than the novel’s other counterparts. The novel’s title being derived from a word associated with violent weather suitably depicted the drastic and muddled events resulted from the love between Catherine and Heathcliff.
Tragic events – mostly relating to deaths- have been always narrated in the novel with dark clouds, booming thunder, and heavy rainfall occurring. The mansion amidst the moors is the vanguard of the embodiment of Catherine and Heathcliff’s love for each other. The beauty surrounding the moors and the exquisite architectural design of the mansion represents the divine attribute on how both of them regard each other – being inseparable during childhood and their reunion after death depicted by their ghosts seen by the locals.
On the other hand, the storms which frequently occur on the moors symbolizes the intensity of their love as the main cause of destruction for both of them and for the people involved with their lives. The storm signifies death and turmoil inside the mansion and the characters’ lives (Jack, Bronte, and Stoneman 1995: xii). Growing up as the adopted son of Mr. Earnshaw, Nelly described young Heathcliff as “simply insensible” (Bronte 1848) where he would not shed a tear or shows any signs of pain whenever Hindley beat him up.
This characteristic of Heathcliff as a numb person, hardened by the sufferings of his childhood past, goes hand in hand with his passionate love for Catherine. As grew closer with Catherine, his numb self started to ignite and develop a feeling towards his playmate and partner-in-crime, – an affection which maybe alien to him before. The story progresses with their love growing stronger and their bond becomes inseparable. Both of them – especially Heathcliff – became so attached with the intensity of their feelings and when that moment came when Catherine decided to marry Edgar, Heathcliff considered this as a huge betrayal for him.
His vengeance is meant for the people who have done him wrong in the past – an act of mental self-repair (Szasz 1996:72). From here on, the revenge which Heathcliff started plotting immediately ensued when he came back as an educated gentleman to compete with Edgar. It is inevitable that a love so intense ending up in a huge disappointment resulted into the same amount of hatred. Catherine’s most famous declaration of “I am Heathcliff” which refer to their identities as united lovers in one soul.
This single identity represents what kind of love they have – the eternal kind – however, due to the events which happened around them, this single identity became the very source of all the tragedies inflicted to them and by them. Catherine and Heathcliff are very much engrossed with each other which depicted an obsessive kind of love the moment vengeance started. Emily Bronte’s work is one of the earliest classic which depicted the case of fatal love. At least in the case of Catherine and Heathcliff, death is the only nirvana for both of them.
Cite this Love Story Depiction in Wuthering Heights
Love Story Depiction in Wuthering Heights. (2016, Sep 21). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/wuthering-heights/