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Death in Wuthering Heights Essay


Toward the end of Wuthering Heights Heathcliffs obsession with Catherine reaches a point where his world unifies and his own death becomes something to rejoice. In this excerpt Emily Bronte describes his perverse behavior and recounts his realizations about his surroundings to show us how Heathcliffs perspective of the world has changed.

In the 7th paragraph Nelly asks Heathcliff if he fears death and with conviction he says no but at the same time he does not hope for it or feel it coming. Shortly after, Heathcliff tells Nelly I have to remind myself to breath-almost remind my heart to beat! It is clear that he no longer has interest in any aspect of daily life. In fact although Heathcliff seems to be alive, this particular li ne conjures up ideas that he may already be dead; dead on earth. Heathcliff is also said to be bizarrely pacing back and forth and muttering things under his breath, these actions are relatable to a resident of an insane asylum losing his mind. But rather than losing his mind Heathcliff is moving to a new state of mind.

Furthermore Heathcliffs quietism is revealed in his descriptions of how the memory of Cathy haunts him. He claims to see her in everything, In every cloud, in every tree-filling the air at night and caught by glimpses in every object by day- I am surrounded by her image. He is even able to see a resemblance in Hareton; a boy that he has begrudgingly hated for so long now becomes the one thing he wishes he had. In the fourth paragraph he also says that he is able to see her face in anyone, but most importantly he can see alikeness in his own features. This epiphany merges things that have always been so different to him into one. Everything around him becomes the one woman he yearns for and tortures him with the fact that while he is alive he cannot have her.

In her description of Heathcliffs change, Emil y Bronte proves the well known belief that if all time is happening at once and all things are one, than death should not be something to fear. Heathcliffs increased obsession with his Cathy unites everyone and everything in his mind so that he accepts death.

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