In the novel Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte, shows how different aspects of themes are presented for a readers consideration. Some of the important themes in Wuthering Heights are, revenge, spiritual feelings between main characters, obsession, selfishness, and responsibility.
Bronte mainly focuses on the spiritual feelings of her characters. The difference between the feeling that Catherine has for Heathcliff and the one she feels for Edgar is that Heathcliff is part of her nature, he is like her soul mate. While on the other hand Edgar is only part of her superficial love, and because she is attracted to Edgar and his love for her. It is the spiritual love rather than a physical love that brings Heathcliff and Catherine together.
Revenge is the most dominant theme in the book, although at the end Heathcliff abandons his plan for revenge. For Heathcliff revenge started when Hindley used to abuse him when they were younger. He started to hate him and wanted to seek revenge. After he came back from his journey he made Hindleys life a living hell. Heathcliff got all of the property from gambling with Hindley. Heathcliff also wanted revenge on Edgar who married the woman Heathcliff loved. In the last chapter Heathcliff first believes that if he can avenge the death of Catherine that he will somehow grow closer to her. Though the exact opposite happens. When Heathcliff gives up his plan for revenge, he is then reunited with Catherine in external bliss.
Obsession played a big role on Heathcliffs love for Catherine. After Catherine came back from the Lintons and Edgar used to pay her visits, Heathcliff would mark off the days that he came over to spend time with Catherine and the days that he did not come over, which would be the days she would spend time with Heathcliff. Also when Catherine moved to Thrushcross Grange, after she married Edgar Linton, Heathcliff would stand outside her window to watch her. Heathcliff was obsessed with the love he had for Catherine. He loved Catherine more than his own life. The two have a powerful emotional bond together, something Heathcliff never experienced with anyone else, being that no one else ever loved him, so he became obsessed with the one person he related to emotionally.
Selfishness was in everyones character in some way or other. It was first showed by Mr.Earnshaw when he brought home Heathcliff and presented him to the family. Mr.Earnshaw loved Heathcliff as his son, even more than his own son. It was as though he wanted Heathcliff for himself. By showing Heathcliff all of his love the others acted the opposite way, and could not see him as a family member. They show him as an outsider and so they treated him like so for the rest of the years to come. Because he admired this child so much, the rest of the generations following Mr.Earnshaws life will suffer. Heathcliff was the most selfish person in all of Wuthering Heights. He ruined Catherines life when he disappeared for three years. He also ruined Isabellas life by marrying her only for revenge. Heathcliff forced Cathy to marry Linton and then killed the sick boy through neglect, not wanting to get a doctor for him letting anyone besides Cathy to help him. These are only the major actions in the novel that show Heathcliffs selfishness . Catherines selfish character was showed when she wanted both Edgar and Heathcliff at the same time. Catherine wanted Edgar for his life and Heathcliff for his soul. She didnt want to choose between the two of them, and she never did. With this she caused pain for Heathcliff and Edgar.
Responsibility brings the servants into the picture, mainly Nelly. After Mr.Earnshaw died Nelly took upon most of the responsibility because she was only woman in the house to do so. She raised Catherine and Heathcliff and later on five years of Hindleys son. Once she left Wuthering Heights she could no longer take care of Hareton, he was no longer her responsibility. So he grew up with no education and bad language which he got from Joseph who was the only person who had some type of responsibility of him. Nelly then had the responsibility of Cathy, Catherines daughter when Catherine passed away.
Many of these themes played a very important part in the novel. Different aspects of these themes were presented for the readers consideration, to help them understand what was really going on and how everything played an important role to show that it was not a love story but things that really happen.
Bronte, Emily ;Wuthering Heights