Wuthering Heights is a twisted love saga, almost a carbon copy of every other book we have read this year and last. Heathcliff, adopted as a child, was loved by his “father” and scorned by his “siblings.” He plots a way to get them back in the most personal way. Not the hip flask, drunkard, the pocketbook…that’s right Mr. Forbes, the wallet. He loved one person, only to see her taken. He married someone he did not love to get revenge. But in the end he lost out, winning nothing he had planned on winning. I think he died a sad man, or maybe even a happy one as you will see.
He was adopted by Mr. & Mrs. Linton. Mr. Linton loved him better than his real children, and his siblings took note of this. As a pre-teen he met Catherine Earnshaw. A wonderful lady he took kindly to. Fortunately she took a liking to him. Heathcliff left the moors for three years to make a name for himself, and make some money.
When he returned he saw Catherine, his true love married to his half-brother. Heathcliff in turn married Isabella, whom he did not love, for reasons unbeknownst to me, other than to tick Edgar off. He plotted revenge on his brothers, and friends in order to get both Thrushcross Grange and the story’s namesake Wuthering Heights.
When Heathcliff died, I imagine that he was very sad that his plan did not work out. I’m sure he would have changed his ways if he knew the outcome. Or maybe not. Maybe he would have taken great pleasure in knowing that he created a hellacious time for his victims. Maybe he would have loved knowing that people hated him. In that respect, I think he suffers from George Wallace disease.
In closing, Heathcliff had a rough and tumble childhood. He faced many problems when his sweetheart married his half-brother. He plotted revenge on his enemies, cousins and brothers and relative-in-laws. He died what many consider to be a sad death not for the way he died but for how he lived his life, yet I think he lived through life in its fullest, and therefore was happy.