Balance of Good and Evil in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Last Updated: 26 Jan 2021
Essay type: Narrative
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In Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights she depicts the balance of good and evil and does this so through her characters and their relationships with one another. Emily accomplishes this through her multitude of biblical allusions that depict the disolant road that older Catherine trots down, while Heathcliff and Edgar bash skulls for the hand of Catherine more than once. Each of these complex relationships take place with different intentions. One has selfish intentions while the other has pure hearted intentions.

This creates a veil of anticipation for each of the characters that is constantly strained and only creates more turmoil within the Wuthering Heights community. Thus love for the wong reasons ulitmatly end up in their imment self-destruction. Following along with the theme of love hate, greed and selflessness one of the most distinct characters in Wuthering Heights is Edgar. Even though his character is in a broad point of view dull he does exemplify qualities of true honest love for the older Catherine.

This unconditional love towards her later in the book creates friction with three of the main characters as him and Heathcliff bash heads more than once for the love of older Catherine. On one hand Heathcliff has devilish motivations for the hand of Catherine, while Edgar reveles that his love is unconditional, as shown here, “No mother could have nursed an only child more devotedly than Edgar tended her. Day and night he was watching and patiently enduring all the annoyances that irritable nerves and a shaken reason could conflict. In this little piece of the book tells a tale about the feelings Edgar has towards Catherine. First of all, naturally mothers are the ultimate care takers as they take care and nurture babies to health. So saying that, “No mother could have nursed an only child more devotedly than Edgar tended her. ” Is also saying that since a mother’s love is boundless and all focused on one child that that one child would receive so much love that it would be just overkill, but since it says Edgar took better care than a mother in that situation it only shows the honest and true love he has for Catherine.

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In the second portion of the passage from the novel it babbles on about how Edgar tends to her every whim even though dealing with her as she through her ever Deeping depression and her ever increasing irritability; nothing less than ripping hair from a scalp with so much that the onslaught dug out even the deepest roots. Even though this he still loves her with unconditional love. Due to this Edgar sheds light on this novel through a biblical passage were it descibes the purity of affection in 1st Corinthians were it says, “Love is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. In this quote written by the apostle Paul through the words of god tell the true tale about love, and fits together like a puzzle when compared to Edgar’s affection. On the other side of the love triangle, focusing on Older Catherine and Heathcliffs relationship is one that’s been strained since their youth. This is due to the mishap that Catherine made when they were younger, and will come later in life to haunt her; this is the rejection of Heathcliff’s love due to the soul fact of this inferior intellect, even though she loved him too.

She later on in her life eventually regrets this as she marries Edgar on the soul fact of his social status, and as Heathcliff returns form his quest for knowledge arises once hidden emotions she had for Heathcliff as shown here, “ Oh, the evil is that I am NOT jealous, is it? ’ cried Catherine. ‘Well, I won’t repeat my offer of a wife: it is a bad as offering Satan a lost soul. Your bliss lies, like his, in inflicting misery. You provide it. Edgar is resorted form the ill-temper he gave way to at your comeing; I begin to be secure and tranquil; and you, restless to know us at peace, appear resolved on exciting a quarrel.

Quarrel with Edgar, if you please, Heathcliff, and deceive his sister: you’ll hit on exactly the most efficient method of revenging yourself on me. ” In this passage from the novel it contributes to the theme by adding a dynamic that hasn’t been seen befor this by adding a biblical refrence were it compares their relationship to Satan and offering him a lost soul. Satan is already a lost soul and king of evil so he wouldn’t want a lost soul to heal, he would only damage it.

When Emily makes this she shows the desperaty of their relationship that its lost and that no matter what it can’t be re-kindled. It also shows the inner most thoughts and feelings of Catherine and the feelings she has for him that once laid dormant but are now has arose. As the result of the two conflicting oppositions Catherine is plunged into a situation where she has to choose from, the man she married and made sacrid vows. Vows that in the bible describe the life long bond that the two parts reate and should never be broken unless sin was committed with another other than you husband/wife; in this situation though Edgar has stayed true to her, and has gone to hell and back for her. While on the other hand there’s Heathcliff, the love of her youth, the person who is likes her missing piece of her puzzle. That is until she denied him her love due to reasons that would be considered selfish. Now with the return of Heathcliff the spark is re-ignited and feelings that once lay dormant now arise to take strangle hold of here mind and judgment.

This conflicting affects so much so that her heart is torn into shreds and her mentality has shifted a broad overlook of life as if it’s one shade and that shade is black, as described by Edgar, “Catherine had seasons of gloom and silence now and then: they were respected with sympathizing silence by her husband, who ascribed them to an altar-ness, as she was never subject to depression of spirits before. ” By analyzing this passage it tells a tale of the life of Catherine. It helps to show that she wasn’t always depressed, and she never use to act like she does now; unfortunately that was until she married Edgar.

It also shows the dispare she now feels that her love is gone for good and she is stuck with a person who she doesn’t love. Bounded by the vows of marriage. This passage also shows the inner most thoughts of Catherine as she lays in bed stricken by guilt, depression in a life that Heathcliff isn’t apart of. Even though the love triangle of Heathcliff, Cahterine, and Edgar proves that love shouldn’t be towed with for selfish gains and that the outcomes with these intentions will invertably lead to ones imminent self destruction.

But it’s through the turmoil and the actions of the characters that it shows the complexity of love, that it should be through pure honest devotion that you should ever marry. Not for personal gain and not through love, this will invertably end up bad every time. In Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights Emily depicts the fundamental aspect of human emotions and actions towards the search for ones true love; she accomplishes this by giving us a ying and yang sineario in the novel through the eyes of both the older Catherine and younger Catherine.

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Balance of Good and Evil in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. (2017, Feb 10). Retrieved from

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