Justified Revenge There are many themes to Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights. However, the most dominant theme is that of revenge. This is especially true in the second half of the book when Heathcliff's malicious plan of revenge comes to life. Many believe Heathcliff to be inhuman, some even describe him as sadistic and demonic. "Heathcliff's revenge may involve a pathological condition of hatred, but it is not at bottom merely neurotic. It has a moral force." (Kettle 121) Still, those who sympathize with Heathcliff realize the turmoil he has suffered. "Though he is inhuman, we understand why he is inhuman" (Kettle 121). When Heathcliff is introduced to the family for the first time, Mr. Earnshaw describes him as; "…it's as dark almost as if it came from the devil" (Bronte 61). Harold Bloom states that Heathcliff's "mysterious origin makes him a social outcast…and his destitute adolescence creates a stoical, calculating temperament" (Bloom 22). However, these items alone are not reason enough to justify Heathcliff's vengeance. The justifications for such vindictive actions were brought about after many years of tolerating cruel mistreatment from Hindley, his love for Catherine, and his hatred and jealousy of the
Pennsylvania: Chelsea House Publishers,1996Bronte, Emily. He buys out Hindley and reduces him to drunken impotency, he marries Isabella and then organizes the marriage of his son to Catherine Linton, so that the entire property of the two families shall be controlled by himself. we should have thought ourselves in heaven!" (Bronte 73) Even Heathcliff admires and is mesmerized by the extravagance of the Grange. She was the only family member besides Mr. Heathcliff, devil though he be, is drawn with a sort of dusky splendour which fascinates, and we feel the truth of his burning and impassioned love for Catherine, and of her inextinguishable love for him. The turning point of the story is when Heathcliff overhears Catherine tell Nellie that Edgar has asked her to marry him and states that "it would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now" (Bronte 107). This infuriates Heathcliff even further and he throws hot applesauce on him. Forster, an influential British novelist of the twentieth century believes that the emotions of Heathcliff and Catherine are different compared to other stories of fiction.
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