Top 100 Literature Essay Topics - 2023
The theme of obsession in “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte
In Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights," the theme of obsession is central to the plot and character development. The characters in the novel are driven by their intense emotions, particularly Heathcliff's obsession with Catherine Earnshaw. Through the use of artistic details and images, Bronte explores the destructive power of obsession and its impact on those who are consumed by it.
Heathcliff's obsession with Catherine is one of the most notable themes in the novel. From the moment he meets her as a child, he is drawn to her with an intensity that borders on the unhealthy. He cannot bear to be separated from her and is consumed by jealousy when she forms relationships with others, particularly Edgar Linton. This obsession drives much of the plot, as Heathcliff schemes to acquire the wealth and power he believes will make him worthy of Catherine.
One of the most striking artistic details used by Bronte to convey the theme of obsession is the imagery of the moors. The moors are a wild, untamed landscape that mirrors the characters' turbulent emotions. Heathcliff and Catherine are often shown wandering the moors together, lost in their own thoughts and desires. The moors become a symbol of the intensity of their feelings and the wildness of their obsession.
Another important aspect of the theme of obsession in "Wuthering Heights" is the way in which it affects the other characters in the novel. Catherine's obsession with Heathcliff leads her to reject Edgar's love and ultimately leads to her untimely death. Similarly, Heathcliff's obsession with Catherine destroys his relationships with everyone else around him, including his son Linton and Catherine's daughter Cathy. The theme of obsession thus becomes a warning against the dangers of allowing one's emotions to consume them completely.
The use of dialogue is also important in conveying the theme of obsession in the novel. The characters' conversations are often fraught with emotion, with each trying to articulate their feelings for the other. The dialogue is often intense and dramatic, mirroring the heightened emotions of the characters. This use of dialogue not only highlights the theme of obsession but also contributes to the overall atmosphere of the novel, which is dark and brooding.
In conclusion, Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" explores the destructive power of obsession through its portrayal of the characters' intense emotions and the impact of their actions on others. Through the use of artistic details, including the imagery of the moors and intense dialogue, Bronte conveys the intensity of the characters' feelings and the consequences of allowing oneself to be consumed by obsession. The theme of obsession in "Wuthering Heights" serves as a cautionary tale, warning against the dangers of allowing one's emotions to control them completely.