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The Power of Love in Wuthering Heights Essay

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Wuthering Heights is a novel which deviates from the standard of Victorian literature. The novels of the Victorian Era were often works of social criticism. They generally had a moral purpose and promoted ideals of love and brotherhood. Wuthering Heights is more of a Victorian Gothic novel; it contains passion, violence, and supernatural elements (Mitchell 119). The world of Wuthering Heights seems to be a world without morals. In Wuthering Heights, Brontë does not idealize love; she presents it realistically, with all its faults and merits. She shows that love is a powerful force which can be destructive or redemptive. Heathcliff has an all-consuming passion for Catherine. When she chooses to marry Edgar, his spurned love turns into a destructive force, motivating him to enact revenge and wreak misery. The power of Heathcliff’s destructive love is conquered by the influence of another kind of love. Young Cathy’s love for Hareton is a redemptive force. It is her love that brings an end to the reign of Heathcliff.
Heathcliff and Catherine have loved each other since their childhood. Initially, Catherine scorned the little gypsy boy; she showed her distaste by “spitting” at him (Brontë 27). However, it was not long before Heathcliff and Catherine became “very think” (Brontë 27). They became very close friends; they were practically brother and sister (Mitchell 122). Heathcliff is intent upon pleasing Catherine. He would “do her bidding in anything” (Brontë 30). He is afraid of “grieving” her (Brontë 40). Heathcliff finds solace and comfort in Catherine’s company. When Catherine is compelled to stay at Thrushcross Grange to recover from her injury, she returns as “a very dignified person” (Brontë 37). Her association with the gente...


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...d to Cathy. He desires to be accepted by her. Cathy willingly loves and accepts Hareton. It is this love which reforms Hareton and dispels the tyranny at Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff’s love brought about destruction; Cathy brings redemption to the Heights through her love. Brontë’s Wuthering Heights shows the real effects of love; love has the power to create evil or good.



Primary Source
Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1996. Print.
Secondary Sources
Berg, Maggie. Wuthering Heights: The Writing in the Margin. New York: Twayne, 1996. Print.
"Characteristics of Victorian Literature." Homewood City Schools. Web. 8 Dec. 2010. .
Mitchell, Hayley R., ed. Readings on Wuthering Heights. San Diego: Greenhaven, 1999. Print.


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