Novels often use the emotion of hate to create tension and distress in the plot. Wuthering Heights uses Heathcliff’s disdain for the other characters to add conflict to the story. Wuthering Heights examines the source of Heathcliff’s hate as well as its effects on the other characters throughout the story. Heathcliff’s relationships with other characters also suggests the universal theme that breeds hatred.
Hindley plants the seeds of hate into Heathcliff by treating him cruelly as a child to begin with. This past happening creates the mutual scornful attitude between Heathcliff and Hindley, which spreads into the rest of the characters in the novel. Heathcliff becomes a vortex of hate which grows to encompass Edgar and Isabella. However, Catherine and Hareton seem immune to Heathcliff’s hatred because Heathcliff is not trying to accomplish revenge against him.
Edgar and Isabella plant hatred within Heathcliff from the start. As a child Heathcliff was treated like an outcast by the Linton’s. Heathcliff was treated like a heathen so frequently in his childhood that he himself began to believe that he was a heathen. Heathcliff was searching for acceptance from the Linton’s but, in turn, he only found hate. The hate he discovered would ultimately culminate in destructive revenge against the Linton’s. This establishes the concept of reproductive hate in Wuthering Heights.
Heathcliff’s lodgings in the stable added to his grave childhood. Heathcliff’s uncouth surroundings as a youth seemed to manifest itself in his character as he grew older. This led to his rugged appearance which caused other characters to treat him as a common house servant. Catherine even ignores Heathc...
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...cliff of himself growing up. Heathcliff sees Catherine in Cathy causing him to admire her. Neither Catherine nor Hareton gave Heathcliff cause to offer them feelings of disdain. Therefore, Catherine and Hareton are never permanently damaged by Heathcliff’s hate. This further proves that hate must be equally given for it to exist.
The countless negative emotions forced upon Heathcliff in his past resulted in his development of extreme hate as an adult. Heathcliff’s hate manifested itself in his quest for revenge and his lust for power. Wuthering Heights establishes an unyeilding human emotion which can take over a man’s life. Hate can only be quelled through revenge or death. In Wuthering Heights, Bronte uses Heathcliff to show the development of his hate and revenge from the past thorough adulthood, and warns against the destructive power of pure hatred.
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