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Explain the nature of the relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine.

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Introduction

Explain the nature of the relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine. It can be argued that Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is anything but a romantic novel. Although it tends to not follow the conventional form of Victorian romance novels, it can equally be argued that it is one of the greatest love stories of all time. Even though traditional love may not be portrayed in this story, one cannot rule out that love is not a dominant theme throughout the novel. The nature of the relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine is very distinct. Some may describe it as a "spiritual" love, others even eccentric. Catherine herself describes the bond between them saying "Nelly, I am Heathcliff - he's always, always in my mind ... so don't talk about our separation again - it is impracticable". It can be at times very hard to explain and understand this unusual bond, as very few people ever experience this kind of love during their own lifetime. ...read more.

Middle

What she does not realise is that by denying herself to Heathcliff, she creates a deeper tragedy that she or anyone else can comprehend, and her marriage to Edgar, coupled with the return of Heathcliff, tears her apart spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Catherine now realises that it is impossible to love Heathcliff and remain married to Edgar. At this point Catherine concedes that the only way she and Heathcliff can be united is through death. She now knows that it would be impossible for her to enter paradise to be able to wait for Heathcliff to come to her. With her marriage to Edgar, Heathcliff's good converts to evil, seeking vengeance upon everyone around him, except for Catherine. Heathcliff's return from his three year absence, he arranges to see Catherine again. Shortly thereafter, Catherine resigns herself to her own death. After seventeen years of avenging his "enemies", Heathcliff loses the desire to inflict suffering unto others. He realises that he loves Hareton due to his striking similarity to Catherine. ...read more.

Conclusion

Heathcliff and Catherine are united in death, and the love of Cathy and Hareton blooms. The reader is much more able to understand the more plausible love represented by Hareton and Cathy. Heathcliff redeems himself when even he admits this, finally letting go of his bitterness and joining Catherine in death. The novel represents a great romantic tragedy and many compare it to William Shakepeare's Romeo and Juliet. The fate of star-crossed lovers who are unable to fulfil their dream through life find redemption in death. To not understand this very important and significant theme of love in this novel is a great loss to the reader. Those who view this book as a novel of violence, hate and revenge do a great injustice to the luminous writing of Bronte. Understanding the love of these two people, Catherine and Heathcliff, can bring envy to anybody. To feel a love so strong and so deep is something most of us will never be likely to experience, and may never be able to truly come to terms with. Zafar Abbas Naquvi 12L ...read more.

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