English Honors 11
27 March 2010
When True Love Transforms Into Obsession and Lust
“He'll love and hate, equally under cover, and esteem it a species of impertinence to be loved and hated again...” (Brontë, 2). This quote describes the actions taken by Heathcliff throughout the novel, while he undergoes a transformation from a true and romantic lover to a cruel and uncaring hater. Although he may appear to be selfless and simply a man deeply in love, his actions involving jealousy, hatred, abuse, and vengeance cause him to breakdown and alter his love for Catherine into a burning and passionate vengeance against all who have got in the way of his love for her. In Emily Brontë's novel, Wuthering Heights, she uses her character Heathcliff to show what occurs when true love is transformed and warped into nothing but obsession and pure lust.
As the novel begins, the reader is confronted with a simple story of a man falling in love with a woman and sees no sign of a transformation at this point. When Mr. Earnshaw, the owner of Wuthering Heights, adopts young Heathcliff into his family, Heathcliff is rejected by Mr. Earnshaw's biological children, Hindley and Catherine. However, Catherine quickly learns to love Heathcliff while Hindley continues to despise him. As the years go on Heathcliff and Catherine spend almost every second together and take every chance to be alone with one another. During their alone time, their intentions may not be sexual; however, in H.P. Sucksmith's article “The Theme of Wuthering Heights Reconsidered” he says, “But, since
whatever else Wuthering Heights may be it is at least a love-story, it might seem pertinent, one would think, to first inquire what was the Victorian attitude to sex, love, and marriage.” He continues later on by saying, “...throughout much of the nineteenth century a very heavy repression fell on certain specific forms of sexuality among... [continues]
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(2010, 10). Wuthering Heights Essay. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 2010, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Wuthering-Heights-Essay-440800.html
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"Wuthering Heights Essay." StudyMode.com. 10, 2010. Accessed 10, 2010. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Wuthering-Heights-Essay-440800.html.