Revenge in Wuthering Heights
Novels often use the emotion of hate to create tension and distress in the plot. Wuthering Heights uses Heathcliff’s disdain for the other characters to add conflict to the story. Wuthering Heights examines the source of Heathcliff’s hate as well as its effects on the other characters throughout the story. Heathcliff’s relationships with other characters also suggests the universal theme that breeds hatred.
Hindley plants the seeds of hate into Heathcliff by treating him cruelly as a child to begin with. This past happening creates the mutual scornful attitude between Heathcliff and Hindley, which spreads into the rest of the characters in the novel. Heathcliff becomes a vortex of hate which grows to encompass Edgar and Isabella. However, Catherine and Hareton seem immune to Heathcliff’s hatred because Heathcliff is not trying to accomplish revenge against him.
Edgar and Isabella plant hatred within Heathcliff from the start. As a child Heathcliff was treated like an outcast by the Linton’s. Heathcliff was treated like a heathen so frequently in his childhood that he himself began to believe that he was a heathen. Heathcliff was searching for acceptance from the Linton’s but, in turn, he only found hate. The hate he discovered would ultimately culminate in destructive revenge against the Linton’s. This establishes the concept of reproductive hate in Wuthering Heights.
Heathcliff’s lodgings in the stable added to his grave childhood. Heathcliff’s uncouth surroundings as a youth seemed to manifest itself in his character as he grew older. This led to his rugged appearance which caused other characters to treat him as a common house servant. Catherine even ignores Heathcliff in public because he is viewed as a “savage brute”. Heathcliff did improve his appearance after his three year absence from the moors; however, Heathcliff’s salvage appearance as a child became his vengeful demeanor as an adult. This shows that children who are taught to hate or breed hate are destined to spread hate as adults.
As soon as Hindley’s father dies, Heathcliff is taught the true meaning of hate by Hindley. As Heathcliff ages, his hate for Hindley grows inside of him, along with a need for revenge. Heathcliff’s need for revenge allows him to formulate his diabolical plan for taking over both the Grange and the Heights, upon return from his three year sojourn. Heathcliff’s ability to gamble the Heights away from Hindley foreshadows the unyielding power of Heithcliff’s hate when fueled by revenge. Thus establishing hate as the source of Heathcliff’s revenge.
Heathcliff’s loathing feelings against Hindley even last long after Hindley’s death. Heathcliff has created a demonic reality in which his mistreatment of Hereton will enable him to gain revenge against Hindley. Heathcliff also maintains his revenge by becoming extremely possessive of the Heights. Heathcliff’s vicious watch dogs ensure...