Obsession In "Wuthering Heights" Essay

1629 words - 7 pages

The word obsession is defined in the dictionary as: "a compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion." The novel "Wuthering Heights", is a story about love turned obsession. An obsession that leads the characters to be impulsive, vindictive, jealous and stupid. These obsessions run and ruin the lives of all the characters in Wuthering Heights. Their extreme passions have direct effects on the lives of others, and carry over into other generations.First of all, there is Heathcliff, a pitiful man driven by his obsession for Catherine and revenge. We at first sympathize with him, when we see Hindley mistreating him and his undying love for Catherine and when she turns him down for Edgar we see a huge transformation in our dear Heathcliff. We see his plan of vengeance begin to unfold and your feeling soon change. He leaves Wuthering Heights for years, deserting his love, and is determined to be successful and powerful in hopes to re suitable for Catherine and impress the others. He comes back after three years, during which time nobody at Wuthering Heights or The Grange have known his whereabouts, and the first person he is eager to meet is Catherine. He's now a changed person driven by his obsession to be someone else. He tells Catherine: "I heard of your marriage, Cathy, not long since; and, while waiting in the yard below, I meditated this plan: just to have one glimpse of your face, a stare of surprise, perhaps, and pretended pleasure; afterwards settle my score with Hindley; and then prevent the law by doing execution on myself. Your welcome has put these ideas out of my mind; but beware of meeting me with another aspect next time." Being upset with the news of Catherine's marriage to Edgar he tries to hurt them both by marrying Edgar's sister, Isabella. Even though he doesn't love or even like her, instead in this one sided love affair Heathcliff takes advantage of the innocent girls feelings to carry out his obsession for revenge. He ends up ruining her life and inheriting her fortune. In marrying her he accomplished to parts of his plan, revenge and power. I also don't see how he can even say he loves Catherine in the first place, because how can true love exist at all when it's so intertwined with jealousy, hatred, and anger? Was he just being selfish or blinded by his obsession to have her? The passing of time doesn't seem to dim his love or obsession for Catherine, even after she dies he begs her ghost to haunt him, "Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" (186). Most rational people who have loved someone who just died, wish that their souls rest in peace. He even arranges for their coffins to be open and facing each other. Now is this rational? No. Nobody can think rationally when being ruled by an obsession as strong as this.Heathcliff had been miss treated by his foster...

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