The Relation of Evil and Love in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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The Relation of Evil and Love in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

This study will examine Emily Bronte's novel Wuthering Heights, focusing on how evil is related to love. The study will explore the main relationship in the book, the relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine. That relationship is full of both love and evil and will show us what happens when evil and love become tied to one another.

The first thing we need to do is define evil. It is perhaps impossible to define love in a way, which will satisfy all of us. We will probably all agree that love is usually an attraction between two people, which makes them feel good about themselves and the other person and about life in general. On the other hand, the love that is powerful and romantic goes way beyond such a feel-good experience. For the sake of this study, we must agree that Catherine and Heathcliff love one another, but the question is whether that love is healthy. Just because it is unhealthy does not mean that it is not love.

However, if it is so unhealthy that it becomes destructive to both of them, and then we can start to see it as evil. To this reader, their love is tied up with evil because their love has become more important than anything else in their lives and because it is destroying both of them. It is evil to expect another human being to do for you what it is impossible for another human being to do. Heathclif and Catherine see each other as gods, or as God, and expect to be saved by the other as God would save one. They see love as something, which they can throw themselves into and disappear, and at that point love becomes destructive and evil.

The love which Catherine and Heathcliff share is a love which many people would like ...

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...lationship was destructive. Even if we see them as hopeless as junkies in their addiction to one another, at some point they had to have realized they were destroying each other. If it were truly love which they felt, they would have done whatever they could to stop themselves and separate because of that love.

As it is in the book, however, author Bronte has painted Heathcliff and Catherine as two people who never really had such a free choice. From the beginning, even in childhood, there were powerful and dark connections, which bound these two, together against the world. Certainly we can say that Heath cliff was by far the more evil of the two, but Catherine willingly stayed in the relationship, and/or allowed herself to be brought back into it by Heathcliff. Evil or not, she is as much responsible for the misery and destruction of their "love" as Heathcliff.
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