Analysis of Susan Jaret McKinstry’s Desire’s Dreams: Power and Passion in Wuthering Heights

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In his renowned book of philosophy, The Leviathan, Hobbes described that “perpetual and restless desire for power” is a fundamental quality shared by all humans. He also points out that desire is another important aspect of human nature, since it provides motivation for us to strive to reach our individual needs regardless of the possible outcomes of our actions. These two themes are insightfully explored in Susan Jaret McKinstry’s “Desire’s Dreams: Power and Passion in Wuthering Heights”, in which she shows the important role that power and desire play in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. From the desire, passion and the ambition for power being displayed in a relatively closed environment such as the isolated manors, it is clear that …show more content…
The adults in the novel abuse their power over the children and set a terrible example for them to grow up to. Throughout her analysis, McKinstry insists in the characters’ mimetic desire, which is borrowed from other people. In the novel’s characters’ case it is the desire for adult power when they were younger. However, besides the desire for adult power, there are other personal desires that guide each character’s choices throughout the book. For instance, many of Heathcliff’s actions are motivated by a deep sentiment of revenge towards those who mistreated him. One of them is Edgar Linton, due to great jealousy for the fact that Catherine had married him instead and therefore would do anything to make him and his children suffer. This leads to actions that not only act as a revenge of sorts, but also help him in his journey to increase his power. This great greed and desire for economical advances led to many planned actions by Heathcliff once he returned from his escape and was suddenly wealthy. He took precautionary steps to punish those who had done him harm in the past, whether emotionally or physically, by taking advantage of their weaknesses or moments of vulnerability for his own personal gain. An example of this is when he comes back to Wuthering Heights and decides to lend some land to Hindley, who he knew was spiraling out

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