Madness in Wuthering Heights

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AP Literature and Composition

The Maddness of Wuthering Heights
What is madness? It is defined as the state of having a serious mental illness, extremely foolish behavior, according to Oxford Dictionary. To an author, however, it can be so much more. In her novel, Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë had a method behind the madness, so to speak, using it to make many main points throughout the novel. She employs this madness specifically in her character Heathcliff, whose own emotions driven him to insanity. Through what causes him to go mad, and his actions as a result, the story is develped

Heathcliff’s madness derived from multiple factors but is rooted from hate shown by Hindley. When Mr. Earnshaw founb Heathcliff in the streets and took him in (page 36), he treated him like his son, sometimes even better than his own children. This created Hindley’s resentment for Heathcliff. Hindley did not like the attention Heathcliff recived from his father, therefore wanted to make Heathcliff as miserable as possible. When Hindley makes him a servant of the family, after Mr. Earnshaw’s death (page 43), he makes his distain know, with constasnt abuse and ill-treatment. It would give reason to Heathcliff’s loathing of Hindley. No one would agreeably go through that adversity without good reason. Therefore, it would seem reasonable for Heathcliff to leave when he thought Catherine was going to leave him. All of the time he spent away, would leave time to grow rueful to Hindley, and plot revenge for his mistreatment. He became so consumed by revenge, that he became void of any previous emotion. He lost care for anything other than shaming Hindley and gaining control of the Heights. He didn’t care who got in his way, and used others for his own selfish reason. This was the reason why Heathcliff married Isabella (page 131). Isabella would not have known of his schemes, as Heathcliff kept his true character hidden; he kept his madness well hidden. After Catherine’s death,...
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