Wuthering Heights Setting

.. five weeks at Thrushcross Grange recovering from a dog bite, Catherine returns blinded by the Victorian ideals of ignorance to those not prosperous. Upon her arrival home to Wuthering Heights, she dismisses her soul mate Heathcliff and his gypsy manners. Even the maid Nelly notices the “unfeeling child [and] how slightly she dismisses her old playmate’s troubles. I could not have imagined her to be so selfish.” (WH-p.69) Like Dracula, Heathcliff rejects the Victorian ideals Cathy has embraced.

Catherine’s rejection of her friend further pushes Heathcliff into idle. Heathcliff is genetically wild, and is not cruel or unkind as long as he has someone to share his life with. Once Catherine has distanced herself from Heathcliff, his “predominately passional, irrational, unknown, and unconscious part of the psyche the id or ‘it'”32 take over Heathcliff thus “the primary traitsascribed to the id apply perfectly to Heathcliff: the source of psychic energy; the sear of the instincts (particularly sex and death); the essence of dream; the archaic foundation of personality- selfish, asocial, impulse”33 are released. It is the loss of Catherine that turn Heathcliff into a monstrous villain, seemingly devoid of the superego. Heathcliff loses the “aspect of the psyche, which [Freud} called the superego[which] seems to be outside the self, making moral judgements, telling us to make sacrifices for the good causes even though self-sacrifice may not be quite logical or rational.”34 Just as Dracula becomes a monstrous villain through becoming immortal thus removed from the rest of society, Heathcliff becomes monstrous through losing his only tie to society, his friend Cathy. Heathcliff gradually loses Catherine’s love to Linton, son of the aristocratic family. As Linton tries to win Catherine’s heart over, she removes herself from the stormy and wild ways she much enjoyed as a child with Heathcliff: “Doubtless Catherine marked the difference between her friends as on came in, and the other went out.

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The contrast resembled what you see in exchanging a bleak, coal country for a beautiful fertile valley.” (WH-p.77) One evening, while informing Nelly of her love affairs, Heathcliff stood in the next room listening to their conversation. She tells Nelly how she loves Linton and has accepted her proposal in marriage. However the wise Nelly whose “main function in the novel is essentially those attributed to the ego,”35 makes Catherine admit that her love for Linton “is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes trees- my lover for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rock beneath-a source of visible delight, but necessary.” (WH-p.87) She believes that her heart truly belongs to Heathcliff: “If all else perished and he remained, I should still continue o be, if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe wold turn to a might stranger.” (WH-p.87) Heathcliff, however failed to hear Catherine’s confession of everlasting love to him, he ran away. Heathcliff leaves the novel during a thunderstorm, symbolizing the anarchy and cruelty to come, just as Dracula makes his transition to Western Europe arriving during a thunderstorm. “The ‘inner’ emotional turmoil into which she is thrown by Heathcliff’s disappearance coincides with the ‘outer’ natural turmoil of a thunderstorm.”36 When Heathcliff returns, he is driven by the spirit of vengeance.

Ms. Dean could hardly recognize the “altered” man, questioning “have you been for a soldier?” (WH-p.96) Although his appearance may be gentleman like, he is in fact an infernal best filled with rage. Nelly states how “his visits were a continual nightmare to meHis abode at the Heights was an oppression past explaining.” (WH-p.107) He torments the lives of Catherine, her new husband Linton, Hindley, and the generations to follow. He wants them to suffer for the pain and suffering he has experienced by losing the only companion in his life. He informs Catherine upon his return, “I want you to be aware that I know you have treated me infernally!” (WH-p.111) and he eventually drives Catherine to a slow suicide from making her suffer.

Heathcliff marries the sister of Linton, Isabella to further destroy Catherine and her love for him through jealously. Upon Dracula’s arrival in England, he plagues the lives of the innocent Lucy and Mina, which is apart of his master plan. Isabella describes Heathcliff’s infernal treatment parallel to that of a beast: “I assure you, a tiger or a venomous serpent could not rouse terror in me equal to that which he awakens.” (WH-p.137) Both Dracula and Heathcliff abuse innocent victims to carryon their plan of destruction, vengeance suffering. On Catherine’s death bed, she tells Heathcliff how she has killed her. This leads to more rage in Heathcliff ordering her dead soul to “Be with me always- take any form- drive me mad! only do no leave me in the abyss, where I cannot find you!” (WH-p.154) Catherine dies in the arms of Heathcliff, the two are reunited after years, only to be torn away from each other.

This enrages Heathcliff and implores a mission to hurt all those tied to Catherine for making him so unhappy. Heathcliff’s love for Catherine has turned into hatred, thus the desire to harm all those linked to Catherine’s existence. He has become ruthless, selfish, the ultimate Gothic villain; acting through his id. As only complete destruction will release Dracula from the world he haunts, it is in death that Heathcliff’s tormented and tormenting spirit finds release. At the end of Dracula, the five good men and Mina have cornered the Count outside of his castle in Dracula, attempting to kill him and keep him there until sunset. At this moment, Mina is tainted from a red mark of a wafer placed on her forehead and is also encircled by a ring of wafers, symbolizing how the perversity and Lucifer elements of Dracula have taken over her. As the sun sets, Dracula is killed, and according to Mina, “it was like a miracle; but before our very eyes, and almost in the drawing of a breath, the whole body crumbled into dust and passed from our sight.” (D-p.399) Mr.

Morris sacrifices his life for the killing of Dracula, a valiant effort dying for the destruction of a beast, but also the saving of an entire civilization through this killing. Mr. Morris states how he “It was worth for this to die!” (D-p.399) Perversity has defeated evil, the unclean has been cleaned, and the perversity of the Count has been restored to the purity of Christianity. “Even in that moment of final dissolution, there was in the face [of the Count] a look of peace, such as I never could of have imagined might have rested there.” (D-p.398) The look of peace of the Count’s face symbolizes Dracula’s inner desire for savior, meaning that Christianity is the ultimate desire for all men. Even though Dracula is dying, he feels a release from the devil, and ultimately returned to Christianity.

As the gothic hero/villain in Dracula, good defeats evil in Wuthering Heights as Christianity defeats perversity. Heathcliff’s evil has led to his isolation in life as young Cathy sates, “Mr. Heathcliff, you have nobody to love you; and, however miserable you make us, we shall still have the revenge of thinking that your cruelty arises from your greater misery! You are miserable, are you not! Lonely, like the devil, and envious like him?” (WH-p.246) His id had overwhelmed his life to the extent that he is completely lonely, separated from normal society. He has been evil to those to the point where “Nobody loves [him]- nobody will cry for [him], when [he] dies!” (WH-p.246) As the gothic villain Heathcliff has embraced the landscape and become ruthless as the moors, he dies becoming one with that which has shaped his life. Not only is “Heathcliff’s death presented as the ultimate fulfillment of his wish for total union with Catherine,”37 but it is also a return to innocence of nature which had marked the joys of his childhood. After observing “the master’s window swinging open” (WH-p.283) after a rainstorm, the next day Nelly entered Heathcliff’s room and found him laying on his back.

“His eyes met mine so keen and fierce, I started; and then, he seemed to smile.” (WH-p.283) This happiness parallels the Count’s at the time of his death. Heathcliff’s soul had departed during a rainstorm, a quintessential gothic image symbolizing a renewal of like through cleansing. The opening of Heathcliff’s window further emphasizes his unification with the fierce nature he embraced. He is happy now because he is united with Catherine, the soul mate who too embraced the calamity of nature as a child of the storm. The two still haunt the moors which they once played endlessly. A little sheep boy claims to have seen “Heathcliff, and a woman, yonder, under t’Nab.” (WH-p.284) “Heathcliff and Cathy may be dead, but in dying they become transformed into a symbolic symbol meaning that, projected onto nature, renders nature itself ghostly.”38 Although Heathcliff is a human being and Dracula is a super a natural being (vampyr) imposing insidious effects on civilization, Heathcliff is no less a monster. The gothic hero/villain of the Romantic Movement, has such a great effect on the reader as a result of the duality and mysterious characteristics presented.

The attraction of these novels can be expressed through what “H.P. Lovecraft, said, was ‘the scratching of unknown claws at the rind of the known world.’ This is certainly what one hears in the passages of the great writers who have forced their way into this essay, the sound, however intermittent, is unmistakable and unforgettable.”.


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