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Wuthering Heights

by Emily Brontë
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Show how Emily Brontë handles the theme of love and hatred in Wuthering Heights.

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Love and hatred are prevalent concerns in Emily Brontë’s novel. The author shows how tightly the two may be intertwined and how passionate love can drive equally intense hatred. The positive influence of pure love, while apparently not rewarded in the short term, can be sustained and transmitted to the...

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Love and hatred are prevalent concerns in Emily Brontë’s novel. The author shows how tightly the two may be intertwined and how passionate love can drive equally intense hatred. The positive influence of pure love, while apparently not rewarded in the short term, can be sustained and transmitted to the next generation.

The passionate love between Heathcliff and Catherine is the prevailing force in Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff’s frustrations and his vile treatment by Hindley Earnshaw not only stimulate his ambitions for success and wealth but also turn him into a bitter, vindictive man. In addition, he knows that Catherine does not love her husband, Edgar, but was influenced by social conventions to choose him instead.

Knowing that Edgar looks down on him, Heathcliff secretly marries his sister, Isabella. After both she and Catherine die, Heathcliff’s desire for revenge is extended to their children, as he engineers a marriage between the younger Catherine and his son, Linton.

Although he succeeds in realizing these heinous plans, after Linton dies, Heathcliff realizes how empty his life has become. His desire to be reunited with his deceased beloved is stronger than his hateful earthly existence, and after he dies, their ghosts allegedly are seen together out on the moors. Young Cathy finds love with Hindley’s son, another person on whom Heathcliff had exacted unfair retribution. Both in life and death, true love wins out.

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