Heathcliff And Catherine Earnshaw In Emily Bronte?S “Wuthering Heights” Essay, Research Paper
Love is an amazing emotion. People spend much of their lives searching for true
love. When true love is found, people will do everything possible to hold on to and
cherish it for eternity. It is said that true love can only be found once in a lifetime that is
filled with intense everlasting emotions. A classic example of this powerful emotion is
displayed by the characters Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw in Emily Bronte?s
Wuthering Heights examines a passionate and overwhelming love between its
central characters, Cathy and Heathcliff. Their love is profound and filled with passion
unlike any other. Its intensity builds from their childhood until the untimely death of
Catherine. The extent of this love is exemplified during Heathcliff and Catherine?s
interactions with each other, during Catherine?s statements to Nelly, and during
Catherine?s death where Heathcliff and Catherine embrace for the last time.
When Catherine and Heathcliff were young, they would ?run away to the moors
in the morning and remain there all day?(44). They spent a lot of time together playing
like children. It is in this time that they create their everlasting bond. Catherine and
Heathcliff spend almost every waking hour together and inevitably fall in love. Whenever
Catherine and Heathcliff talk about their love, their tone is high and wild. No words
could possibly express the great passion they share, yet it becomes obvious in their
At one point, Catherine stays at Thrushcross Grange for five weeks and comes
back a different woman and her appearance seems more refined and polished. She has
been influenced by the Lintons, particularly Edgar who she has developed an infatuation
with. She has changed and ?seems? to look at Heathcliff in a different manner. Catherine
says to him ?Why how very black and cross you look! and how-how funny and
grim!?(52). Heathcliff can?t believe his ears. He is so angry that he refuses to shake hands
with her: ?I shall not stand to be laughed at, I shall not bear it?(52). Heathcliff wonders
later if she misses him: ?Do you suppose she has nearly forgotten me? Every thought she
spends on Linton, she spends a thousand on me?(149). The thought of Catherine loving
another is unfathomable to Heathcliff, but he is convinced that she still loves him more.
Here again, even when there is not an obvious display of love, it lies just below the
surface of their interactions.
Another side of the love shared between Catherine and Heathcliff is revealed in
statements by Catherine to the servant Nelly Dean: ?Whatever souls are made of, his and
mine are the same…Nelly I am Heathcliff?(182). Catherine loves Heathcliff so much that
she feels that they share the same soul. Nothing can ever break this bond.
Catherine herself then compares her love for Edgar and her love for Heathcliff: ?My love
for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it…My love for Heathcliff
resembles the eternal rocks beneath-a source of little visible delight, but necessary?(82).
It is as though she realizes the superficial love she has for Edgar and the eternal love she
has for Heathcliff. Catherine knows she is about to marry the wrong man. What she does
not realize is that this mistake will eventually bring about her demise.
While Catherine layed on her deathbed, she is visited by Heathcliff. In this last
interaction, they throw accusations of betrayal at each other with fiery intensity. In
Catherine?s delirium, she realizes her mistake of marrying Edgar, but knows now there is
nothing she can do about it. She in on the verge of death, and deeply regrets betraying her
Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart Cathy? I have not
one word of comfort-you deserve this. You have killed yourself. Yes, you may
kiss me and cry; and wring out my kisses and tears…you loved me-then what right
had you to leave me? I have not broken you heart…and in breaking it, you have
Heathcliff is clearly angry at Catherine but he still loves her. He embraces her before he
leaves, wishing that he could just hold her forever.
After Catherine dies, Heathcliff becomes very distraught and feels that he cannot
survive alone. He curses her spirit out of anger and betrayal: ?May she wake in
torment…May you not rest as long as I am living…Oh God! It is unutterable! I cannot live
without my life! I cannot live without my soul?(167). Heathcliff does not want her soul to
rest. He wishes for her to haunt him so that they can be together, at least partially, but yet
Catherine and Heathcliff in Emily Bronte?s Wuthering Heights travel an intense
and passionate road. Their intense and passionate love is evident in their interations with
each other, their interactions with others, and especially their last interaction when
Catherine is on the verge of dying. With the love they share, Catherine and Heathcliff
endure many hardships in their journey. Mistakes are made and regret is formed.
However, they have built their love on the foundation of their souls, which will last for an
eternity. In death they will roam together, their souls intertwined as one. Nothing can
separate them now.