Wuthering Heights Conflict Analysis

993 words 4 pages
In Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, revenge is one of the most prominent themes within the novel. This theme plays into a recurring literary theme of the war between passion and responsibility, seen specifically within Brontë’s character Heathcliff. In this case, Heathcliff’s passion is his overwhelming desire for revenge on the Earnshaw and Linton families in order to gain what he believes is rightfully his. With his mind solely focused on seeking vengeance on those who have hurt him, Heathcliff is unable to maintain the responsibilities of an adult, a father, or even a human being. Brontë demonstrates throughout the novel the destructive nature of Heathcliff’s passion for revenge and how this passion conflicts with his humanly …show more content…

Virtually every single character in the novel is effected by his passion and mostly all in a negative way. Heathcliff spirals into a vortex of hatred which grows to encompass characters such as Edgar, Hareton, and Linton. Using Heathcliff as an example, Brontë is able to convey the larger idea of the destructiveness of revenge. Brontë proves that there is no peace in eternal vengeance by showing that revenge is the factor that leads Heathcliff to his dismal fate. After admitting to Nelly that he no longer was interested in seeking revenge, Heathcliff explains to her how “Last night, [he] was on the threshold of hell. To-day, [he is] within sight of [his] heaven,” (251) showing how Heathcliff has changed since his decision and never finds peace or happiness until he gives up on revenge. Heathcliff believes that if he can revenge Catherine’s death he can be with her, but he spends the rest of the book begging for Catherine’s ghost to haunt him and missing her, and it is not until the end, when he gives up revenge, that he is reunited with his love, proving further the extreme negativity of revenge. Brontë is able to prove that the self-pain caused by executing revenge is worse than the initial wrong by providing the reader with opportunities to compare Heathcliff’s well-being as a child and as an adult, which is significantly worse. Throughout the novel, Brontë is very successful in conveying the destructive power and negative aspects of revenge