In Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff managed to ruin a number of the characters' lives. How did he ruin Isabella's life? And Edgar's life?Please give an indepth, detailed answer! Thank-you very much!

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the novel 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte, Heathcliffe ruins Isabella's life by encouraging her infatuation with him even though he knows full well he has nothing but scorn for her - worse, due to his childhood experiences of her indulgent family, he actually hates her. So, just as she was spoiled by her family, and just as his own chances for happiness and success were spoiled, so he spoils her chances of a happy and financially successful marriage. Readers may infer that, actually, she spoiled her own life chances through her arrogant, imperious and self-centred ways and that no man would have been attracted to her through love anyway. Heathciffe was not attracted to her through love either. He saw her as a useful pawn in his power game and used and emotionally tortured her mercilessly.

mkcapen1 | Student

In the book "Wuthering Heights" Heathcliff had sought revenge against Edgar for taking his Catherine away from him.  He began his revenge by flirting with Edgar's sister Isabella.  He was able to win her heart and she eloped with him.  Edgar shut her off from the family.   Catharine and Edgar have a child but Catherine dies in childbirth.  Edgar raises the child with love and devotion.  She is his joy.  Edgar becomes ill and is dying.  Heathcliff who has taken his sickly son Linton out of school plans to arrange the two to marry.  He develops a plan that results in Edgar and Catherine's daughter to go to Wuthering Heights.  Once there he locks her up and refuses to let her go to her dying father unless she marries Linton.  Linton and she marry.  Edgar dies and Linton dies.  He now has control of Edgar's estate and his daughter lives in misery under Heathcliff's roof.

Isabella married Heathcliff expecting a happy life.  Heathcliff immediately sets out to let her know how foul she is to him.  They have a child together.  Heathcliff treats Isabella like a dog.  He says cruel things to her all the time and treats her like she is the lowest of servants.  She knows no happiness in her life.  The child goes to a school, but Heathcliff brings him back and is verbally and physically abusive to the boy.

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Wuthering Heights

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