Adventures of Wuthering Heights
The novel Wuthering Heights written by Emily Brontë is a story that is told by many points of view and perspectives. The story is centered on two homes, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange that consist of two different lifestyles. Nevertheless, there are no heroes and all characters possess a dark side. Likewise, Brontë utilizes the characters to reveal various themes within the novel. Wuthering Heights is a brilliant work of art because it unfolds the context of social status, love-relationships, and revenge throughout the novel.
First, the story takes place on the moors of Northern England and in the town of Yorkshire. Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange are residents that portray two different moods throughout the novel. Withering Heights represents a wild and stormy mood whereas; Thrushcross Grange represents a peaceful mood. For instance, Wuthering Heights is described as dark and cold, which mirrors the gloomier side of life. It is located at the top of Yorkshire moors. In addition, Thrushcross Grange is the reverse of Wuthering Heights. It is portrayed as a livelier, intelligent side of life and located in the valley. Also, the residents at the Grange depict a higher middle-class level in social status. Social class was very important to society because it determined the power of a family in society. For example, when Catherine has to reside at the Linton’s home for five weeks after being bitten on the ankle by their dog Skulker, she experiences a new way of life. As a matter of fact, she is treated like a queen and drawn to the civilized world of the Linton’s. On the other hand, Wuthering Heights represents a lower class of society because they were property-owners who had servants. It lacks hospitality and luxury like the Grange. Likewise, Heathcliff represents the lower class of society because he was an orphan off the streets of Liverpool. Furthermore, Catherine marries Edgar because of his social status and the benefits of being a part of a wealthy family.
Second, Love-Relationships at Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange were very wild, passionate and unpredictable. For example, Heathcliff and Catherine grew up on the moors together and during this time a true love blossomed between the two. They shared a love, unlike any other love. Their love was based upon a mutual awareness that they are the same. As a matter of fact, Catherine states, “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.” (78)
Another devoted and sincere love between the two characters was Hindley and Frances. They were madly in love with one another and spent most of their time together. During their marriage, Frances gave birth to a baby boy name Hareton. Due to the birth of her son, she becomes very ill and never recovers. The doctor informed Hindley that Frances was dying and it was just a matter of time. Hindley is destroyed over the news and scolds the doctor for his diagnosis. Eventually, Frances dies and Hindley turns to obsessive drinking to cover his pain. This also causes him to be very angry and mean to his son.
Catherine marriage to Edgar Linton was fraudulent with a hidden agenda. Edgar, on the other hand, loved Catherine dearly. He tried to please her in every way he knew how but it was not enough. Her ulterior motive was to be the wife of a rich man. For example, Catherine stated, “He will be rich, and I shall like to be the greatest woman of the neighborhood, and I shall be proud of having such a husband.” (76) Even though Edgar cared deeply for Catherine and they seemed to be very happy, she still declares Heathcliff as her true soulmate.
Isabella Linton was a gentle, sophisticated, and attractive young woman, who had never been in a relationship with a man. When Heathcliff returned to Yorkshire, Isabella Linton is infatuated with his cunning personality. In addition, He seduces her to the point where she falls in love with him. Likewise, Heathcliff cares nothing about her and only thinks about his love for Catherine. Several months later Isabella and Heathcliff get married in spite of Catherine and Edgar’s disapproval. Eventually, Isabella realizes that she made a terrible mistake by marrying Heathcliff. Over a period of time, she grows to hate and despise her husband. Unable to take any more of his abuse, she moves away from Wuthering Heights to the southern parts of London. Furthermore, Isabella gives birth to a baby boy who she named Linton. For thirteen years they lived a peaceful life before she becomes very ill. Edgar was able to visit Isabella before her death and it was during this time, she asks him to raise Linton away from his Heathcliff.
Cathy and Hareton relationship start off being rocky and disrespectful before developing into an innocent bonding love. In addition, she treats Hareton poorly because he does not know how to read. Also, Heathcliff tries to prevent any friendship that may develop between the two. However, there was an attraction between young Cathy and Hareton. After a period of time, she teaches him how to read which transforms him into an intelligent young man. The attraction between the two grew deeper; they fell in love and married. Furthermore, they both inherited the estates of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.
The pursuit of revenge runs rapidly throughout Wuthering Heights and the Grange. Hindley first takes vengeance against Heathcliff because of his close relationship with Mr. Earnshaw. For example, Mr. Earnshaw goes on a trip and when he returns, he brings a young orphan boy home name, Heathcliff. He noticed how his father favors and pays more attention to Heathcliff which made him very angry and jealous. Moreover, instead of treating him like a brother, he abusively torments him every chance gets. Finally, Mr. Earnshaw decides to send him to college. This unjust treatment caused Heathcliff to plot revenge against Hindley and whoever crossed his path the wrong way. In fact, he plants the seed of vengeance in Heathcliff by the mistreatment he endured.
While attending college, Hindley learns of his father’s death and he returns to Wuthering Heights. In addition, he brings home Frances his newly wedded wife. He moves the servants and Heathcliff out of the main part of the house and into the kitchen. Likewise, Heathcliff is forced to work in the fields and his education comes to an abrupt halt by Hindley. After the death of his wife, he is deeply troubled and begins to harshly abuse Heathcliff. In spite of the harsh treatment, Heathcliff is thrilled to see Hindley unhappy and miserable. As a result, Heathcliff becomes the focal point of hate and vengeance.
Heathcliff also takes his abusive frustration and revenge out on Hindley’s son Hareton. After gaining control over Wuthering Heights, he forces Hareton to work in the fields. In addition, he refuses to allow Hareton to get an education because Hindley denied him an education. Therefore, he becomes a filthy, uneducated field hand who cannot read or write. Heathcliff wants Hareton to feel the agonizing pain he endured as a child. Nevertheless, despite being misused, he still perceives Heathcliff as his father.
Another plot of revenge by Heathcliff is when he finds out Catherine and Edgar plans to get married. For example, He hears Catherine telling Nelly that Edgar proposed to her and she plans to marry him. This angers Heathcliff and he plans to destroy Edgar and Catherine’s marriage. He also plays on the emotions of Edgar’s sister Isabella who was very inexperienced in relationships. He marries her just to get back at Edgar and Catherine. Not only but also, he plans to take revenge against Edgar by convincing Linton and Cathy to get married. This would allow his son Linton to be the heir to Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff plan was successful and they were married. He takes control of the estate and refuses to allow Cathy to live at the Grange.
However, Linton dies shortly after their marriage and she turns her attention toward Hareton. Heathcliff tries to intervene and destroy the relationship between the two because Hindley destroyed his relationship with Catherine. However, he sees how Cathy and Hareton care for one another and this reminds him of the relationship he and Catherine shared. Not only that but, how Hareton favored Catherine. This caused him to go into a deep depression and he withdraws from everyone. Nelly discover his body and Hareton is the only one who grieves his death. Furthermore, Cathy and Hareton get married on New Year’s Day and become the sole owners of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.
In summary, Wuthering Heights is truly a great novel to be read. It unfolds the context of social status, love-relationships, and revenge. In addition, it portrays themes that are relevant in today’s society. Countless people today still marry for social status and finical security. They fail to exist with their soul mate and chooses to live a miserable life as Heathcliff and Catherine.