Emily Bronte 's Wuthering Heights Essay

2467 Words Mar 14th, 2016 10 Pages
Alexander Pope once said, “To be angry is to revenge the faults of others on ourselves” (BrainyQuote). In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, the novel’s primary antagonist, Heathcliff, spends the majority of his life being angry. Heathcliff, an orphan adopted by the Earnshaws, a family of the gentry class in British society, falls in love with their daughter, Catherine. Therefore, Catherine’s eventual decision to marry Edgar Linton because of his social status, instead of her childhood lover Heathcliff, spurs him to seek reprisal. Throughout this novel, Bronte critiques the detrimental effects of a vengeful heart, the destructive nature of an unwavering love, and the significance of social class. Heathcliff’s fervent thirst for revenge towards the Earnshaw and Linton families determines several of his actions throughout the novel. “When we consider what Heathcliff does in the course of the book, we find it adds up to an appalling catalogue (Cheetham).” As soon as the Earnshaws adopt Heathcliff, Hindley Earnshaw immediately views and treats him as a subordinate member of their family. He strips Heathcliff of his status “and insisted that he should labour out of doors…as hard as any other lad on the farm” (Bronte 58). Heathcliff displays resiliency in his overwhelming love for Catherine, which allows him to endure the abuse with which Hindley burdens him. Hindley’s mistreatment of Heathcliff forms the foundation for Heathcliff’s thirst for revenge, which eventually…

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