Wuthering Heights written by Emily Bronte, was a novel filled
with many emotions and activity. Her characters represent an on going
conflict between love and hate. Upon the publication of the book
articles and reviews were written regarding Brontes novel. Following her
death some of these were recovered such as the following
written January 15 1848: " In Wuthering Heights the reader is
shocked, disgusted, almost sickened by details of cruelty, inhumanity
and the most diabolical hate and vengeance, and anon come passages of
powerful testimony to the supreme power of love-even over demons in
the human form. The women in the book are of a strange fiendish-angelic
nature tantalizing and terrible, and the men are indescribable out of
the book itself. " The critic fills my complete expectations for
what a review of this book should be. It is, in a sense, a blending
of elements that make the book what it is. Both atmosphere and characters
are filled with a mystery that keeps the reader drawn to the book much
as some are addicted to viewing day time soap operas.
One of the main elements of the story that is mentioned in
the review is cruelty. Cruelty has helped form some of the
characters to be what they are. When a young Heathcliff is brought into
the Earnshaw family, he is instantly disliked by Hindley Earnshaw. Hindley
hates Heathcliff for intruding onto his family. He loses his fathers love
and sets out to destroy Heathcliff. Within Catherine's diary was written:
" I wish my father were back again. Hindley is a detestable substitute-his
conduct to Heathcliff is atrocious. " (25) Hindleys hate toward Heathcliff is so
deeply felt, that upon the news of Hindley receiving a son, Heathcliff
sets out to torment the child as part of a plan to punish the Earnshaws.
The cruelties of Hindley toward Heathcliff produces vengeance.
Heathcliff feels the need to take revenge, and zeros in on Hareton Earnshaw
son to Hindley. Heathcliff's evil influence is felt upon the boy who
reflects the most insensitive traits. He turns the young Hareton into a
brute for whom has no respect or love for his father or for his education.
" He raised his missile to hurl it: I commenced a soothing speech, but could
not stay the hand-the stone struck my bonnet; and then ensued, from the
stammering lips of the little fellow, a string of curses, which whether
he comprehended them or not, were delivered with practiced emphasis, and
distorted his baby features into a shocking expression of malignity. " (109)
Heathcliffs cruelties toward Haerton is felt throughout. He has become a
reflection of the cruelty Heathcliff hides in himself, he has done to Haerton
what Hindley did to him. In a strange sense Haerton clings to Heathcliff, and
treats him as if he was a father.
The supreme power of love is a central theme in the book. Bronte
produces a love that is not so much romantic as it is powerful. Heathcliff's
evil is projected upon everyone in the story except Catherine. Catherine had
from the start of the story had a love for Heathcliff. " I ran to the children's
room; their door was ajar, I saw they had never laid down, though it was
past midnight; but they were calmer, and did not need me to console them. The
little souls were confronting each other with better thoughts than I could
have hit on. " (48) Here we can witness Catherine and Heathcliff comforting
each other in the news of Mr. Earnshaw's death. For a time it seems as if
Heathcliff could be redeemed. And as they grew they became more separate.
Catherine pledges her love to Edgar Linton, a young gentleman from
Threshold Grange. She has second thoughts about her love. " I've no more
business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in Heaven; and if the 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 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. " (82) Catherine admits that within her heart she is not doing
the right thing.
After the death of Catherine, Heathcliff never fully recovers
from the loss. His love last to the point that seven years later he
decides to bring up he coffin