Name of the Student:
‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte is a novel whose one of the main themes is love. Love as presented in the work is a destructive and obsessive emotion that disunites. The love between Heathcliff and Catherine seems to be the center of the novel as it is the more lasting emotion in the whole novel. However, this love is also very destructive as it is the source of many conflicts that are experienced in the plot. Although Catherine loves Heathcliff, she chooses to marry Edgar for his wealth. Catherine states, ” I have no more marrying Edgar Linton that I do to be in Heaven; and if that wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how much I love him; and not because he is handsome, but because he is more myself than I am” (Bronte, 87).This marriage is very destructive for both Catherine and Heathcliff. Catherine refuses to be fully committed to Edgar while Heathcliff becomes a vengeful maniac. For Heathcliff and Catherine, love and punishment always intermingled. Theirs was a tormented love that left no peace.
After a fight between Edgar and Heathcliff, Catherine becomes sick and dies during childbirth. The destructiveness of this love is seen when Heathcliff begs Catherine to haunt him. He says Catherine Earnshaw, “may you not rest as long as I am living! You said that I have killed you-haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murders. I believe-I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always-take any form-drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh God! It is unutterable1 I cannot live without my life!” (Bronte, 176). The extend of how destructive their love was is seen when close to twenty years later, Heathcliff still cries for Catherine, bribing the sexton to unearth Catherine’s coffin just so he would see her.
Brontë, Emily, Fritz Eichenberg, and Bruce Rogers. Wuthering Heights. New York: Random House, 1943. Print.