Wuthering Heights By Bronte (1230 words) Essay

Wuthering Heights By BronteIn Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights the idea compensation for love lost is
discussed. Wuthering Heights is a quiet house in the country where the
Earnshaw’s and Heathcliff live. Heathcliff loves Catherine Earnshaw very much
but, she decides to marry another man, Edgar. Heathcliff marries Edgar’s
sister just to make Catherine jealous. At the end Heathcliff abandons his plan
for vengeance and professes his love for Catherine only to see her die soon
after. In the novel Wuthering Heights Bronte shows that revenge is not the key
to happiness through irony, through plot, and through characterization. Irony is
used over and over in the novel Wuthering Heights to express the notion of
revenge. The main ironic incident in this novel is that no one ends up with the
person they want to be with despite the fact that they can be with the one they
love. For example Catherine loves Heathcliff. Catherine and Heathcliff are soul
mates, and she even remarks to Nelly that, ? I [Catherine] am Heathcliff!?
(142). She is angry at Heathcliff for not leaving sooner to make something of
himself. Catherine could have had Heathcliff, but she chooses not to and ends up
miserable. Another example of irony is that Heathcliff and Isabella do not love
each other. Heathcliff thinks that he is with Isabella to get back at Catherine.

He sees Isabella as an unsuspecting ?young lady?(91). However, Isabella
married Heathcliff for spite. She resents the fact that her Catherine married
her brother and wanted to get back at Catherine. Neither Isabella nor Heathcliff
find happiness in each others arms, and they both die miserable and unsatisfied
with each other. The fact that Edgar wants to get back at Heathcliff after
Catherine’s death is very ironic. Edgar won. Catherine marries him and not
Heathcliff. Edgar is always jealous of Heathcliff. Before Catherine’s demise
Edgar tells her that, ?It is impossible for you to be my friend and his at the
same time? (99). When Catherine does not p. 3 respond to this Edgar goes on to
tell her, ?I absolutely require you to choose? (100). When Catherine does
die Edgar seeks revenge. He knows that Catherine died of a broken heart torn
between Edgar and Heathcliff. Edgar in a ranting rage tells Nelly, ?I’ll
crush his ribs in like a rotten hazel nut?(158). He seeks vengeance on
Heathcliff, but never gets it. A final example of irony is with Heathcliff and
Hindly. A few years after Hindly condemns Heathcliff to a life of servitude
Heathcliff runs off and makes a living. He comes back a wealthy and proper man.

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Heathcliff helps Hindly out of debt. However, Hindly owes so much money to
Heathcliff that Heathcliff takes Wuthering Heights from Hindly. So, just when
Hindly thinks that he got back at Heathcliff for ruining his life Heathcliff
takes his revenge and lets Hindly died a poor, miserable old man. The plot in
Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights reflects the concept of revenge. Mr. Earnshaw
meets a poor boy on one of his trips. Because Mr. Earnshaw is such a ?capital
fellow?(9) he takes pity on the boy, Heathcliff, and invites him to live with
the Earnshaw’s. Mr. Earnshaw has an alterior motive for the boy. He wants his
children, Hindly and Catherine, to understand what it is like to share their
wealth with someone who is less fortunate than themselves. Mr. Earnshaw figured
that the children would learn and grow from this experience. The truth is that
the children did not. Hindly grows up miserable and resentful of Heathchiff. And
Catherine eventually turned her nose up to Heathcliff only to find that she is
cheerless without him. The novel takes a turn when Catherine has to decide
whether or not to marry Edgar. She knows that she has ?no more business
marrying Edgar Linton than I [Catherine] have to be in heaven? (64). Yet
Catherine marries Edgar anyway for p. 4 wealth, but more importantly revenge.

She wants to get back at Heathcliff for never making something of himself. But
at the end Catherine is the one who suffers. Heathcliff desires Linton and Cathy
to be wed. This plan is curtailed by Edgar. Cathy falls in love with Linton and
tells Edgar. When Edgar finds out he says, ?No one from Wuthering Heights
shall come here? (224). Edgar does this for revenge. He does not want
Heathcliff or anyone to be happy. At the end he is Edgar is the one who is not
happy even though he thought he got the ultimate revenge. Characterization
another literary device that Bronte uses in Wuthering Heights that reflects the
concept of revenge. Catherine begins her life happily. She is a wild, carefree,
and round character. As Catherine ages she becomes more concerned with her looks
and her social position. Catherine goes to Thrushcross Grange where she is
treated ?like a queen?(44) and when she returns she wants nothing to do with
Heathcliff. Catherine finds a young man named Edgar. When Edgar proposes she is
torn between Edgar and Heathcliff. Edgar could provide her with anything she
wants. However, Catherine loves Heathcliff. She chooses to marry Edgar and she
is miserable. Catherine wants Edgar to suffer because he never understood
Catherine’s affection for Heathcliff and Catherine wants Heathcliff to be
melancholy because he could not fathom the fact that Catherine picked Edgar over
him. Catherine’s ultimate revenge came when she passed-on and left both
Heathcliff and Edgar heartbroken and miserable. Hindley is another character
that seeks revenge. When Heathcliff comes to live with the Earnshaw’s Hindley
is very upset. Mr. Earnshaw adores Heathcliff and raised Heathcliff as a member
of the family. Hindley would ?blubber like a baby? (39) when he could not
have his way. When Mr. Earnshaw dies Hindley takes over the house. The deep
animosity that Hindley feels for Heathcliff drives Hindley to condemn Heathcliff
to a life of servitude. Hindley treats Heathcliff ?like a servant?(49). p. 5
Hindley sought vengeance and got it. Catherine never looked at Heathcliff the
same way and Heathcliff was miserable. Isabella gets really mad when she fins
out that Heathcliff is still in love with Catherine. She decides to fill
Heathcliff with grief and she ?runs the whole way from Wuthering Heights?
(146). Not only is Heathcliff heart broken when she leaves, she also takes their
baby Linton along with her. Isabella got her revenge and now Heathcliff is
suffering from the loss of Catherine, Isabella, and his baby Linton. Heathcliff
seeks vengeance on Catherine. Heathcliff loves Catherine dearly and would stop
at nothing to make her happy. One day Heathcliff overhears a conversation
between Nelly and Catherine. Catherine tells Nelly that, ? I [Catherine] shall
marry him [Edgar]? (68). Heathcliff is crushed but, when Catherine speaks of
Heathcliff and says, ?Heathcliff has no notion of these things? (70). She
goes on to tell Nelly that, ?He [Heathcliff] does not know what being in love
is?(70) Heathcliff overhears this conversation and runs away. He goes of in
search of a way to show Catherine what she is missing. Heathcliff comes back as
a well dressed, proper, and wealthy man. Catherine sees this perfect man in
front of her and is filled with rage for Heathcliff is now out of her reach.

Even though Heathcliff got revenge he did not get what he really
wanted–Catherine. In the novel Wuthering Heights Bronte shows that revenge is
not the key to happiness through irony, through plot, and through
characterization. The characters are consumed by desire to have revenge on the
people who have tormented them. The people in the novel stop at nothing; not
realizing the serious affect that they have on themselves and on other
characters. At the end revenge–not love– is what compels the characters in all
the key moments in the novel.

p.6 Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. London: Orion House, 1973.


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