Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, narrates the revenge plot of Heathcliff on Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliffs traumatic past influences his perception of justice. Heathcliff believes revenge is the best way to level the playing field. Heathcliff is mostly affected by Catherines choice to marry Edgar which initiates Heathcliffs revenge plot.
Heathcliff was originally happy. He and Catherine loved each other and were inseparable. Catherine was described as much too fond of Heathcliff. The greatest punishment we could invent for her was to keep her separate from him: yet she got chided more than any of us on his account (Bronte 53). Catherine originally had feelings towards Heathcliff and Heathcliff knew so. Heathcliff became attached to her, and she meant the world to him.
When Edgar starts courting Catherine, her affections start to fade away from Heathcliff. Catherine feels ?It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire(Bronte 102). Catherine admits that she is still affectionate of Heathcliff, but Edgar has made her feel superior to Heathcliff. Although she feels as if she is better, she expresses to Nelly that she and Heathcliff are the same.My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being. So don’t talk of our separation again: it is impracticable(Bronte 104). She believes if she marries Edgar, she could never lose the connection between Heathcliff and her. Catherine believes they are the same, for they could never be separated. Ultimately, she does not realize Heathcliffs intention to marry her. As a result, when she marries Edgar, she creates a thirst for revenge for Heathcliff.
Heathcliff is livid with Catherines decision to choose Edgar over him. Catherines choices lead to Heathcliff trying to avenge his love for her. He plots a way to obtain Thrushcross Grange, by using Linton, his son, to marry Edgar’s daughter Cathy. If Linton marries Cathy and Linton passes, the estate will go to Heathcliff. Knowing that Linton is sick, he pushes Linton to marry Cathy so he can control Thrushcross, and in turn, control Edgar. Cathy tells Heathcliff that ?Linton is all I have to love in the world, and though you have done what you could to make him hateful to me, and me to him, you cannot make us hate each other. And I defy you to hurt him when I am by, and I defy you to frighten me(Bronte 284). Heathcliffs plan of arranging the marriage between Cathy and Linton backfires. When Cathy stands up to Heathcliffs plan to control her, it shocks him. No other character in the novel stood up against the fear Heathcliff imposed. Cathy derives her strength from her love for Linton, for she is able to withstand Heathcliff. Heathcliff draws his power from animalistic urges and the will to protect himself. His actions are a result of how people treated him, and his will to avenge himself and his reputation.
In conclusion, Heathcliff is a character thirsty for revenge and amends. Catherines choice in the past to marry Edgar fueled Heathcliff to marry Isabella, hate Edgar, and attempt to steal Thrushcroos Grange. The way Heathcliff was treated in the past created the vile character Heathcliff is.
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