Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte Essay

Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte Essay

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The question of how to approach justice has long been deliberated upon by societies and individuals. Justice systems were slowly created so that individuals would not have the sole power to decide what justice looks like, and informal justice developed in the belief of karma and other such ideas that people get what they deserve. While some rely on the justice systems that our society has put into place, others still decide to take matters into their own hands as they become judge, jury, and executioner. In Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, the character Heathcliff is one such believer in avenging oneself. Heathcliff focuses his entire adulthood on taking revenge, thinking himself to be exacting justice. In reality, Heathcliff does far more damage to the people who wronged him than they ever did to him, and harms others in the process.
At first, Heathcliff focuses on righting the wrongs that had been done to him during his childhood and young adult life. He begins by avenging his childhood rival Hindley, who had “hated him,” according to the housekeeper Mrs. Dean, since he arrived at Wuthering Heights (38). Hindley abused him as a child, as Mr. Earnshaw liked Heathcliff better, which “bred bad feeling” between the two from the start (38). Things only got worse for Heathcliff when Mr. Earnshaw died and Hindley became the master of the house. Heathcliff was consistently mistreated and Hindley “drove him from their company to the servants,” making him “labor out of doors… as any other lad on the farm” (46). This degradation reaches its paramount when Catherine said that, “It would degrade [her] to marry Heathcliff now” (80). Thus, Heathcliff pledged revenge for all of these wrongs. When he returns to the town after many years abse...


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...atherine, visiting her grave, and reflecting on his life and his actions. This allows him time to contemplate the choices he has made and come to terms with his life the way he lived it.
Heathcliff always ends up achieving his overdone version of revenge. He avenges the injustices he feels others have done to the point where his revenge is practically an injustice in itself. He resolves most conflicts by forgiving himself and finally letting those who he had previously perceived as his enemies alone. Luckily, he forgives himself before death. It is likely his impending end of existence that allows him to perceive his wrongdoing and seek to make up for it. Although he takes justice into his own hands throughout the book, he tries to make up for his wrongdoing in the latter stages of his life, and allows Cathy and Hareton to live out the rest of their days in peace.

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