In the winter of 1801 in England, a man named Lockwood rents a manor house near the Wuthering Heights where he learns the story of mysterious Heathcliff and the other denizens of the Heights, present and past. The story begins in the past at the beginning of Heathcliff’s time in Wuthering Heights as an orphan boy for Mr. Earnshaw. The story unravels, and Mr. Earnshaw dies leaving Heathcliff vengeful against the remaining family, but filled with the passionate yet frowned upon love for Earnshaw’s daughter, Catherine. Years pass for the two lovers dishearteningly because neither can ever be with the other due to commitments to other people, family, and societal class expectations. As Catherine dies a terrible death, her daughter Catherine and Heathcliff’s son, Linton relive the difficulties love can cause in Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. Presently, they become imprisoned by Heathcliff, which is where Lockwood first began his experience in Wuthering Heights. Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights exceptionally demonstrates the destructiveness and lasting effects love can have through all tests of time with astonishing symbolism, settings, and characterization.
Wuthering Heights proved to be a meaningful and worthwhile novel for multiple reasons. Emily Bronte easily conveyed an entire love story with depth, passion, and complications that can easily be related to although it was written long ago. Heathcliff and Catherine were never in the right place at the right time in order for their love to work. Catherine explains this to her housekeeper, “My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff’s miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning” (Bronte 122). The two lovers wanted each other no doubt, but each time they had tried, misery and difficulties came about. Having a similar situation to a certain extent caused me to want to read the novel without stopping. Love is complicated no matter where you are, how old, or what period of time it is. With Wuthering Heights being so relatable to situations in the present day, it left me with the need to simply read more and more. Later in the story, Catherine and Heathcliff reunite on Catherine’s death bed. This peak in their relationship shows their true tortured love affair. Heathcliff shouts at Catherine, “Because misery, and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart… you have broken mine” (Bronte 197). Both lovers are angry with each other, but also angry at themselves for wasting so much time. Both Catherine and Heathcliff feel tortured, knowing this is their final goodbye. Bronte’s story progressed through time showing ups and downs of a true love affair. With youth, I could never imagine having such experiences, but Wuthering Heights allows every reader to experience a love truly tortured, but also astounding in ways one may never experience in life.
Catherine and Heathcliff’s passion for one another is the center of Wuthering Heights, given that it is stronger and longer lasting than any other emotion in the novel. Love is passionate, but it is also the source of most major conflicts. Love can be destructive, which is shown through and through the novel by Bronte. Heathcliff and Catherine began their budding love young, but it was always disapproved upon because of their differing social classes. Catherine explains her feelings, “I am Heathcliff - he’s always, always in my mind – not as a pleasure…It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff, now; so he shall never know how I love him” (Bronte 121). Catherine loves Heathcliff, but she cannot marry him although she wishes she could. Catherine’s social ambition diminishes her chances of true love with Heathcliff, which affects the two for their entire lives. Catherine and Heathcliff go through many hardships, breaks, and time, but we come to idealize them as romantic heroes whose love...
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