The central conflict in the novel "Wuthering Heights" written by Emily Bronte is Heathcliff. Heathcliff's internal conflicts affect how all of the other characters interrelate. Heathcliff throughout the book never does anything honorable or dignified. Heathcliff creates whirlwinds of problems by just being present, sometimes, by not even doing a thing. Heathcliff's problems not only the affect the Earnshaw's but also their neighbors Edgar & Isabella Linton.
Heathcliff comes to live with the Earnshaw's, which also includes their children Catherine and Hindley. As Graham Holderness states, "The 'gipsy brat' old Mr. Earnshaw brings home with him has neither name nor status, property nor possessions. He emerges from the darkness, which is the outside of the tightly-knit family system: an outsider who tests the family by introducing an alien element into a jealousy-guarded system of parental and filial relations, of inheritance and possession." (Holderness 30) Heathcliff wonders weather he is good enough for the Earnshaw's, if he will be able to be a part of the "tight-knit family system" that they had created. Heathcliff feels that he is unworthy of the affection that he so desperately needs. This creates conflict with the other members of the Earnshaw family.
Heathcliff's most important need is the need to be loved. Catherine is the only person who can do this for him. (Holderness 30) Catherine and Heathcliff's relationship is addictive. Debra Goodlett quotes Stanton Peele author of "Love and Addiction" which says that "An Addiction exists when a person's attachment to a sensation, an object, or another person is such as to lessen his appreciation of and ability to deal with...
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...ng Heights. He starts out trying to receive love and ends up creating love. He seems to change along the way throughout all of his internal and external conflicts.
Benvenuto, Richard. Emily Bronte. Boston, Mass: Twayne Publishers, 1982.
Berg, Maggie. Wuthering Heights: The Writing in the Margin. New York, NY: Twayne Publishers, 1996.
*"Making the Territory Heathcliff, Edgar and Homosocial Desire"
Bronte, Emily Wuthering Heights. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1975.
Leone, Bruno, ed. Wuthering Heights: Literary Companion Series. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1999
*"Love and Addiction in Wuthering Heights" by Barbara Gates
*"Heathcliff is both Tyrant and Victim" by Graham Holderness
*"The theme of Haunting" by Rachel Trickett
*"Heathcliff's Monomania" by Graeme Tytler
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