Wuthering Heights: Distortions and Exaggerations
Heathcliff cried vehemently, "I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" Emily Brontë distorts many common elements in Wuthering Heights to enhance the quality of her book. One of the distortions is Heathcliff's undying love for Catherine Earnshaw. Also, Brontë perverts the vindictive hatred that fills and runs Heathcliff's life after he loses Catherine. Finally, she prolongs death, making it even more distressing and insufferable.
Heathcliff's love for Catherine transcends the normal physical "true love" into spiritual love. He can withstand anything against him to be with her. After Hindley became the master of Wuthering Heights, he flogged Heathcliff like a slave. Although Heathcliff could have simply run away, his decision to endure the physical pains shows his unrelenting devotion to Catherine. Fortunately, Catherine feels as deeply for Heathcliff as he does for her, explaining to Nelly that "Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same…" Their love for each other is so passionate that they can not possibly live apart. At Catherine's death, Heathcliff hopes that she will not rest, but will haunt him until he dies. This absurdity contradicts the traditional norm that one should pray that the dead rest in peace. Near the end of the novel, we learn that Catherine has haunted Heathcliff, allowing him only fleeting glances of her. This shows that despite their physical separation, nothing can part them spiritually. When Heathcliff dies and unites with Catherine once again, the neighbors see them haunt the moors. We finally see the power of their love; Not only does this love transcend physical barriers, it transcends time as well. Distorting love, Emily Brontë successfully surpasses the conventional love story, which would have ended when Catherine died. Instead, Brontë gives love new meaning and, in Heathcliff, twists it into revenge and hate, the forces that drive us to the end of the book.
Heathcliff possesses a vindictive nature more evil than Satan in the culmination of all nightmares. After he comes back to the Heights improved, he decides to seek revenge on Hindley by slowly draining away his resources, land, and health. Heathcliff fully displays his wickedness after Catherine dies, the only person who could have saved him. With nothing to lose, he expands his revenge not only to Edgar and Isabella Linton, but onto the next generation as well. "I have no pity! The more the worms writhe, the more I yearn to crush out their entrails! It's a moral teething; and I grind with greater energy, in proportion to the increase in pain," he exclaimed. Unlike conventional antagonists, who usually have the hearts to realize that they have reached their immoral goals after the victim dies, Heathcliff takes it out on young Catherine and Linton. He goes so far as to use his own son in the plot of acquiring Thrushcross Grange. Although he does not...