Romanticised Abuse: Heathcliff and Cathy in Wuthering Heights
Cathy and Heathcliff's introduction to one another is hardly a good one. Mr. Earnshaw arrives home from a business trip to Liverpool and foists the young orphan. Catherine actually detested Heathcliff when they were younger. After the marriage Catherine seems happy and content with her new life. Then Heathcliff re-enters Catherine's life and her love for him again starts to flourish as she . However, the 2nd generation is able to accomplish the goal set by Heathcliff and the first. and find homework help for other Wuthering Heights questions at eNotes. the revenge he plans is diabolical, and though she loves him, Cathy is not fooled.
They become playmates — one as wild and untamed as the other, and to say Heathcliff influences her would be an understatement. I pray that he may break your neck I hope he will not die before I do! He inflicts emotional abuse, humiliation, and physical violence on her; Isabella relates her situation in a letter to Nelly: If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil?
I sometimes wonder at him with an intensity that deadens my fear; yet, I assure you, a tiger or venomous serpent could not rouse terror in me equal to that which he wakens. In one scene, he even throws a knife at her. She says of Heathcliff: Heathcliff…checking fiercer demonstrations with a punch of his foot. Heathcliff suffered through a painful upbringing as a victim of physical and emotional abuse.
While it might account for some of his adult inclinations, it should not excuse them. Heathcliff suffered, yes, but he made others suffer, too. He was lonely and being bullied by her brother; she was lonely and feeling neglected by her family. The maid, Nelly, observes their childhood relationship: The greatest punishment we could invent for her was to keep her separate from him: Heathcliff is heartbroken by her absence, and even more so when she returns and he sees how she's matured.
Heathcliff and Cathy both refuse to apologise to each other for who they are and what they want, and perhaps because of her stay at the wealthy Lintons, Cathy realises the importance of marrying well.
She even tells Nelly: Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same…. When Cathy eventually marries Edgar, her relationship with Heathcliff worsens. Heathcliff, for his part, refuses to let her go so easily. He is torn apart by her actions: Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort.
Incest in Wuthering Heights | shipcestuous2
You have killed yourself. Yes, you may kiss me, and cry; and wring out my kisses and tears: You loved me - what right had you to leave me? What right - answer me - for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery, and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will did it. I have no broken your heart - you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.
So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you - Oh, God!
Both their mental states deteriorate. They scream, they shout, they provoke each other, and yet they are unable to be apart. Cathy continually declares how she cannot be without Heathcliff: Their feelings range from passionate adoration to furious hatred, and they are frequently violent with each other.
They do not know of any other way to cope with the hurt dealt on one another by one another, so their feelings run wild. After Cathy dies, Heathcliff becomes even more unhinged.
Catherine & Heathcliff's Relationship in Wuthering Heights: Analysis & Quotes
He is so broken by her death that he even goes as far as to dig up her corpse: You may laugh if you will, but I was sure I should see her there. I was sure she was with me, and I could not help talking to her. Yet I was a fool to fancy for a moment that she valued Edgar Linton's attachment more than mine.
If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn't love as much in eighty years as I could in a day. Her narrators alternate between Nelly Dean the maid and Mr. Lockwood, a visitor to the Heights, and in both cases the perspectives are deep and personal. By doing so, she removes herself almost completely.
Her skill as a writer is obviously there, but the story and characters unfold without her intervention or judgement. She offers no opinion in regards to anything that happens.
Even as narrators, Nelly Dean and Mr. Lockwood offer very little judgement of their own as they tell the story. They recount, they observe, and remark infrequently, but they cast little to no opinion. The characters speak for themselves. The story plays out. Are Catherine and Heathcliff rejecting the emptiness of the universe, social institutions, and their relationships with others by finding meaning in their relationship with each other, by a desperate assertion of identity based on the other?
Catherine explains to Nelly: What were the use of my creation if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning; my great thought in living is himself.
If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and, if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe would turn to a mighty stranger. I should not seem part of it" Ch. Dying, Catherine again confides to Nelly her feelings about the emptiness and torment of living in this world and her belief in a fulfilling alternative: I'm wearying to escape into that glorious world, and to be always there; not seeing it dimly through tears, and yearning for it through the walls of an aching heart; but really with it, and in it" Ch.
Their love is an attempt to break the boundaries of self and to fuse with another to transcend the inherent separateness of the human condition; fusion with another will by uniting two incomplete individuals create a whole and achieve new sense of identity, a complete and unified identity. This need for fusion motivates Heathcliff's determination to "absorb" Catherine's corpse into his and for them to "dissolve" into each other so thoroughly that Edgar will not be able to distinguish Catherine from him.
Freud explained this urge as an inherent part of love: Love has become a religion in Wuthering Heights, providing a shield against the fear of death and the annihilation of personal identity or consciousness. This use of love would explain the inexorable connection between love and death in the characters' speeches and actions. Wuthering Heights is filled with a religious urgency—unprecedented in British novels—to imagine a faith that might replace the old. Nobody else's heaven is good enough.
Heathcliff and Catherine: Love or Obsession? | IB HL Literature
Echoing Cathy, Heathdiff says late in the book, "I have nearly attained my heaven; and that of others is altogether unvalued and uncoveted by me! The hope for salvation becomes a matter of eroticized private enterprise Catherine and Heathcliff have faith in their vocation of being in love with one another They both believe that they have their being in the other, as Christians, Jews, and Moslems believe that they have their being in God.
Look at the mystical passion of these two: That passion is a way of overcoming the threat of death and the separateness of existence. Their calling is to be the other; and that calling, mad and destructive as it sometimes seems, is religious. The desire for transcendence takes the form of crossing boundaries and rejecting conventions; this is the source of the torment of being imprisoned in a body and in this life, the uncontrolled passion expressed in extreme and violent ways, the usurpation of property, the literal and figurative imprisonments, the necrophilia, the hints of incest and adultery, the ghosts of Catherine and Heathcliff—all, in other words, that has shocked readers from the novel's first publication.
Each has replaced God for the other, and they anticipate being reunited in love after death, just as Christians anticipate being reunited with God after death. Nevertheless, Catherine and Heatcliff are inconsistent in their attitude toward death, which both unites and separates. I only wish us never to be parted," Catherine goes on to say, "I'm wearying to escape into that glorious world," a wish which necessarily involves separation Ch.
Conventional religion is presented negatively in the novel. The abandoned church at Gimmerton is decaying; the minister stops visiting Wuthering Heights because of Hindley's degeneracy.