This is an essay that i typed up during high school. Its about Wuthering Heights.
| Power, one of the strongest human desires, can be called the catalyst which causes
many trials and tribulations for the characters in Wuthering Heights, especially for
Heathcliff. The novel can be said to be progressed by Heathcliff’s power struggles.
Throughout the novel, Heathcliff struggles to come out from under the power of Hindley,
and to seek revenge on Hindley for causing him humiliation and injury. Heathcliff has
demanded that Hindley give him his horse, or he would go tell Hindley’s father of all the
cruel beatings Hindley had given him. “’Off, dog!’ cried Hindley, threatening him with
an iron weight…‘Throw it,’ he replied, standing still, ‘and then I’ll tell how you boasted
that you would turn me out of doors as soon as he died…’” (Bronte 39). As Heathcliff
works to obtain Wuthering Heights, the home where he was raised, cruelly taunted and
beaten, the power struggle becomes something more than financial. Heathcliff does not
want just to ruin Hindley financially. By corrupting Hindley’s son, and raising him in the
exact way he was raised, with no education, Heathcliff ensures that not only Hindley
suffers, but his lineage as well.
While working to enact his revenge on Hindley, Heathcliff meets with Catherine,
his childhood playmate and love of his life. She has married Edgar Linton, a neighbor
whom Catherine met whilst a child, and thus Heathcliff expands his hatred and plans for
revenge to Linton. When he does so, Catherine falls into a rage and becomes ill.
Understanding that his plans for revenge caused the illness, Heathcliff is still unable to
stop, for he is very close to reaching his goal of attaining Wuthering Heights. Catherine
soon dies, and Heathcliff blames himself for her death. She, too, blamed him. Heathcliff
has snuck into Catherine’s room to explain himself after causing her illness. “’You and
Edgar have broken my heart, Heathcliff! And you both come to bewail the deed to me, as
if you were the people to be pitied! I shall not pity you, not I. You have killed me- and
thriven on it, I think. How strong you are! How many years do you mean to live after I
am gone?’” (Bronte 158). After Catherine’s death, Heathcliff no longer had a reason to
live, except to gain power, which he did by first attaining Wuthering Heights, then by
receiving Thrushcross Grange through the marriage of his son, Linton, to the late
Catherine’s daughter, Cathy. Despite having all his goals accomplished, Heathcliff lives
in misery, haunted by his lost love. Emily Bronte’s uses this power struggle to enhance
the novel by stating that even if one achieves all the power one wanted, they will live in
misery if they have lost what they held closest to their heart.