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Withering Heights: the elements of violence and hatred | Emily Bronte

Withering Heights: the elements of violence and hatred | Emily Bronte

Withering Heights: the elements of violence and hatred | Emily Bronte

Q. Discuss the elements of violence and hatred in Withering Heights.

Answer: Emily Bronte’s Withering Heights is a most remarkable classic novel. It exposes the complex and chaotic relationships of its characters. In this novel, Bronte chalks out the themes of love, revenge, violence and also hatred.

The elements of violence and hatred in the novel are very relevant. They play a significant role to narrate the wicked and resentful lives of the characters in the novel.

From the beginning of the novel, the moorland setting of Withering Heights is heartless and wild. It mirrors the wild and turbulent emotions.

The characters in the novel themselves reflect the wildness. The central character Heathcliff embodies the effect of violence and hatred most prominently. His character is consumed by his desire for revenge against those who have wronged him. He wants to take revenge against the Earnshaw and Linton families in particular.

He has grown feelings of hatred and ponders over taking revenge when it comes for his turn. His expectations easily come out of his experiences of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of Hindley Earnshaw. 

In the novel, we will find numerous acts of violence caused by Heathcliff. His treatment of Hindley’s son, Hareton Earnshaw is particularly brutal. Hareton Earnshaw subjects him to neglect and humiliation. Hithcliff is deprived of any form of love or compassion and even of a proper education.

In this novel, a cycle of violence and hatred is dominated strongly. Here, Hareton grows up with similar resentment and desires for revenge.

Violence is also evident in Heathcliff’s treatment for women. Isabella Linton and his wife Catherine Earnshaw are mostly victimized with violence. Isabella becomes the victim of Heathcliff’s manipulations and abuse. She is ensnared in a loveless marriage. It leads to her physical and emotional decay.

Catherine is also torn between her love for Heathcliff and her desire for social status. She suffers an internal conflict. Her personal commotion ultimately ends in her death.

Heathcliff is also tossed by his own inner turmoil. He has violent and obsessive love for Catherine. His inability to control his emotion leads to tragic consequences.

The evidence of violence and revenge is also seen in the brains of characters like Edgar Linton and his sister Isabella.

The novel also explores the impact of violence and hatred on the next generation. The younger characters, like, Hareton Earnshaw and Catherine Linton are also motivated by enmity. They find their own paths to happiness. They become victims of violence and hatred. They struggle to escape from the consequences of their vengeful actions.

Thus, Emily Bronte shows the destructive power of violence and hatred throughout the novel. The characters in the novel are easily trapped in a web of their own activities. They are unable to escape from the penalty of their actions.

Therefore, the elements of violence and hatred are integral in the novel, Withering Heights. Through the characters, actions and experiences, Emily Bronte exposes the profound effects of these emotions on relationships, society and the human psyche.

The novel, thus, serves a powerful reminder of the destructive nature of violence and the tragic consequences. It urges readers to reflect on the importance of love, forgiveness and compressions.


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