Revenge in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

  • Length: 743 words (2.1 double-spaced pages)
  • Rating: Excellent
Open Document

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

Wuthering Heights - Revenge


Emily Bronte, who never had the benefit of former schooling, wrote Wuthering Heights.  Bronte has been declared as a “romantic rebel” because she ignored the repressive conventions of her day and made passion part of the novelistic tradition. Unlike stereotypical novels, Wuthering Heights has no true heroes or villains. 

The narration of the story is very unique and divergent because there are multiple narrators.  Bronte’s character Lockwood is used to narrate the introductory and concluding sections of the novel whereas Nelly Dean narrates most of the storyline.  It’s interesting that Nelly Dean is used because of her biased opinions. 

There are many major themes of the book, but revenge is the most imminent theme, the factor that leads the protagonists to their dismal fate.  Bronte proves there is no peace in eternal vengeance, and in the end self-injury involved in serving revenge’s purposes will be more damaging than the original wrong.

            Heathcliff never finds peace through his revenge.  In fact, the only time he truly finds happiness is when he gives up his plan for retaliation.   Austin O’Malley states  “Revenge is like biting a dog that bit you”  (O’malley 1).  O’Malley’s quote reflects Heathcliff’s immature need to propagate agony in those who have offended him.  Heathcliff’s plan for revenge on Edgar and Catherine is to marry Isabella, who is ignorant of love and of men because she has never experienced either.  He wants to hurt Edgar because of his marriage to Catherine, and he wants to get revenge on Catherine by making her jealous. Catherine’s death proves that this flawed plan of repayment helps nothing.  Heathcliff, haunted by the ghost of Catherine because he is her “murderer,” still is motivated by the need for revenge and tries to get young Cathy away from Edgar by having her marry his son, Linton.  Heathcliff never finds peace until he gives up his plan for revenge just before he dies.  When Heathcliff gives up his plan for revenge, he meets Catherine in death and truly becomes happy once more.

            Catherine’s revenge does not make things better for her.  Her  revenge on Heathcliff by blaming him for her upcoming death does not meliorate her mind.  Just before she dies, she ascribes Heathcliff for her “murder.”   “You have killed me, and thriven on it, I think” (Bronte 158).  Catherine resembles what Oliver Goldsmith said,  “When lovely woman stoops to folly, and finds too late that men betray, what charm can soothe her melancholy?

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Revenge in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Apr 2018
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=2643>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Revenge in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Essay - Wuthering Heights: Revenge – The Strongest Theme When Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, first appeared in 1847, it was thought to be obscene and crude (Chase 19). To the common person, it was shocking and offensive, and it did not gain popularity until long after it was first published. When the piece of literature became widely read and discussed, however, Bronte was declared as a “romantic rebel against repressive conventions and a writer who made passion part of novelistic tradition” (Chase 19)....   [tags: Wuthering Heights Essays] 918 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights Essay - In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights revenge is a common, reoccurring theme. According to Webster’s Dictionary, revenge is to inflict punishment in return for injury or insult. Within the novel, Wuthering Heights, revenge is an action taken by many people in order to redeem themselves. However, all of the characters end up in misery because of their hearts’ desire to avenge. In many novels, revenge is an action typically taken by the main villain upon the main hero. Revenge occurs often in both fiction and non-fiction books....   [tags: Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights,] 470 words
(1.3 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte Essays - In Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights Bronte infuses hatred into a powerful love story. The love in Wuthering Heights is stronger than death, but the characters also portray a hatred in the novel that evokes even stronger emotions in both the reader and the characters. In the first part of the novel, Heathcliff and Catherine’s love is prevalent, but when Catherine marries Edgar Linton, Heathcliff is motivated to get revenge on all those whom he believes have wronged him. Not only does hatred fill the novel, but hatred also fills Heathcliff, however, the hatred is essential as it gives him a chance at redemption....   [tags: Summary, Revenge, Redemption]
:: 1 Works Cited
925 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Revenge and Love in Wuthering Heights Essay - A multitude of feelings and sentiments can move a man to action, but in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, love and revenge are the only two passions powerful enough to compel the primary actors. There is consensus, in the academic community,1 that the primary antagonist in the novel, Heathcliff is largely motivated by a wanton lust for vengeance, and it is obvious from even a cursory reading that Edgar Linton, one of the protagonists, is mostly compelled by a his seemingly endless love for his wife, and it even seems as if this is reflected in the very nature of the characters themselves....   [tags: Emily Bronte, vengeance, hate, evil]
:: 5 Works Cited
1529 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte Essay - ... Not only does Hindley feel Heathcliff’s rage, but so does Catherine, the love of his life, and Edgar. During his time away Catherine becomes increasingly close to Edgar. Even though she is in love with Heathcliff, she marries Edgar Linton from Thrushcross Grange. The marriage of Catherine and Edgar crushed Heathcliff and brought out more inner demons. To Heathcliff this was “a crucial act of self betrayal and bad faith.” (Novel for Students 321) Not only did Edgar marry the love of his life, he also treated Heathcliff as a lesser being because of his class....   [tags: vengance, literary analysis, revenge]
:: 3 Works Cited
880 words
(2.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Brief Summary of Emily Bronte´s Wuthering Heights Essay examples - This novel, by Emily Bronte, starts off in the perspective of the young and curious Mr. Lockwood in the winter of 1801, who has gone to Wuthering Heights to meet his landlord, the mysterious Heathcliff. While at the Heights, Lockwood finds himself unable to get home due to a snowstorm and is allowed to spend the night while he waits for the storm to subside. He stays in a forbidden guestroom where he finds several carvings of the name, Catherine. While staying in the room, he is haunted by nightmares, only to awaken the ghost of Catherine herself trying to get inside the house....   [tags: Love, Revenge]
:: 1 Works Cited
978 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Wuthering Heights Essay - Emily Brontë, known for her novel Wuthering Height, was inspired for her writing through her siblings from a young age. Brontë was born in Yorkshire, England in 1818. She had one younger sibling, Anne, and four older ones, Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, and Patrick Branwell. When Brontë and her family moved to Haworth in West Yorkshire, Maria and Elizabeth both died of tuberculosis. Emily was raised in the rural countryside in solitude, which provided a background for her Gothic novel, Wuthering Heights....   [tags: Emily Bronte, Gothic novel, revenge]
:: 4 Works Cited
1622 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Importance of Setting in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights - Wuthering Heights: The Importance of Setting Love is a strong attachment between two lovers and revenge is a strong conflict between two rivals. In the novel Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte uses setting to establish contrast, to intensify conflict, and to develop character. The people and events of Wuthering Heights share a dramatic conflict. Thus, Bronte focuses on the evil eye of Heathcliff's obsessive and perpetual love with Catherine, and his enduring revenge to those who forced him and Catherine apart....   [tags: Wuthering Heights Essays] 1017 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Essay examples - Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights 1. What techniques are used in the characterization of Heathcliff. Effects. Heathcliff is associated with evil and darkness from the beginning of the novel. "I felt his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows." (1) When Lockwood sees Heathcliff's garden (perhaps a symbol for Heathcliff) "the earth was hard with a black frost…the air made me shiver through every limb." (6) When we see Heathcliff when he is first brought into the E...   [tags: Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte] 981 words
(2.8 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Essay - Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights      In "Wuthering Heights," we see tragedies follow one by one, most of which are focused around Heathcliff, the antihero of the novel. After the troubled childhood Heathcliff goes through, he becomes embittered towards the world and loses interest in everything but Catherine Earnshaw –his childhood sweetheart whom he had instantly fallen in love with.—and revenge upon anyone who had tried to keep them apart. The novel begins with a few short introduction chapters which Bronte had most likely used to illustrate how incompetent the character of Lockwood was, and to foreshadow what was to come in later chapters....   [tags: Emily Bronte Wuthering Heights Essays] 891 words
(2.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]

Related Searches




  What art can wash her guilt away?  The only art her guilt to cover, To hide her shame from every eye, To give repentance to her lover, And wring his bosom, is–to die” (Oliver Goldsmith 1).  Catherine’s death is caused by her lack of emotional control and her dual personalities.  She and Heathcliff “are” each other (Bronte 80), but her wants of social status and popularity draw her toward Edgar (Bronte 78).  She does not love Edgar, but her selfish material wants control her.  Catherine’s revenge on Heathcliff does not assist her in finding happiness.  She looks forward to dying and is  “wearying to escape into that glorious world” (Bronte 160).  Her death is, however, miserable as she wanders around the earth as a waif for 20 years occasionally visiting Heathcliff and torturing him. 

            Just as Heathcliff and Catherine’s revenge make them miserable, Hindley’s revenge on Heathcliff causes him to go bankrupt and eventually die.  Hindley’s attempt to kill Heathcliff only hurts himself in the process;  it proves the point Isabella makes, “Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends; they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies” (Bronte 177).  The fact that Hindley is mistreated as a child reflects the built up anger and resentment inside him and towards others.  The hurt that Hindley feels is clearly understood, but sympathy for Hindley is only temporary because it is still his own fault for his predicaments.  Hindley’s loss of Wuthering Heights to Heathcliff and his mysterious death reflect how revenge does not make anything better, only worse.

            Bronte corroborates that revenge is not only a harsh and rash way to live life, but is counter-productive and hurtful.  Out of all of her major themes, revenge is the most imminent.  The self-hurt involved with vengeance shows there are better ways to solve conflicts.  Bronte sends a great message across by showing how negative revenge can be.  There is no solution to obeying the spontaneous reaction of this negative reprisal.


Return to 123HelpMe.com