The Self-destructive Relationship in Wuthering Heights Essay

The Self-destructive Relationship in Wuthering Heights Essay

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On the face of it, it would seem that the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff is self-destructive to an extreme. Due to the lovers’ precarious circumstances, passionate personalities and class divisions, it seems that fate transpires to keep them apart and therefore the hopelessness of their situation drives them to self destruction. However, although the relationship is undeniably self-destructive, there are elements within it that suggest the pain Heathcliff and Catherine put each other through is atoned for to an extent when they share their brief moments of harmony.
Catherine is trapped between her love of Heathcliff and her love for Edgar, setting the two men down a path of destruction, a whirlwind of anger and resentment that Catherine gets caught in the middle of. Catherine is drawn to Heathcliff because of his fiery personality, their raw attraction and one certainly gets the sense that they are drawn together on a deeper level, that perhaps they are soulmates. C. Day Lewis thought so, when he declared that Heathcliff and Catherine "represent the essential isolation of the soul...two halves of a single soul–forever sundered and struggling to unite." This certainly seems to be backed up in the novel when Catherine exclaims “Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind--not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being...” This shows clearly the struggle Catherine feels as she is drawn spiritually to Heathcliff, but also to Edgar for very different reasons. Edgar attracts Catherine predominantly because he is of the right social class. Catherine finds him "handsome, and pleasant to be with," but her feelings for him seem petty when compared to the ones she harbours...

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...ctive. Catherine is pushed to death and Heathcliff to brutal revenge, bordering on the psychotic. Yet before Cathy’s death, the knowledge that the other loves them is strong enough to make Wuthering Heights such a classic love story, and “that old man by the kitchen fire affirming he has seen two of 'em looking out of his chamber window, on every rainy night since his death,” shows that as they walk together on the moors, their self destruction may have led them to death, but also to what they most desired-being together.

Works Cited - MLA Format

Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights. London: Dover Publications, 1996.

Chatterjee, Praving. Emily Bronte. September 28, 2013. Web 22 Apr. 2015.

Wikipedia. Emily Bronte. Web 22 Apr. 2015.

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