The Misery in Evil

There is a lot we can learn from infants. Infants have control over their emotions. When they feel hungry, they cry. When we feed them, they stop. They react the same way when dealing with such feelings and emotions such as nausea, sleep, and even anger. The children know how to let their emotions flow and as soon as the emotion is dealt with, they let the feelings go. As life becomes more complicated, people tend to forget how to let thing flow and then let them go.

The older we get, the more we hold in the emotional baggage, allow ourselves to be possessed by them. Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights tells a very good story of the consequences of holding emotions in without ever releasing them. The characters in the book are so deeply enveloped into their emotions that they create prisons for their minds. Their own acts of hate and unkindness create these prisons; prisons that won’t let them escape from their misery.

From a very early age, the seeds of hatred are planted into Hindley. When the orphan boy, Heathcliff is brought home to live with the Earnshaw family, Hindley becomes immediately jealous when the love of his father goes into Heathcliff. Along with his sister, Catherine, the two work together to ridicule the orphan child of his disabilities, mainly his illiteracy. When Hindley’s father dies, he goes on to make Heathcliff’s life miserable. He treats Heathcliff as one of the servants and terminates his education. The hatred is spread into Heathcliff as he vows to seek revenge on Hindley.

While Hindley continued his abuse on Heathcliff, Catherine falls in love with the orphan child. However, Catherine had a personal ambition to find someone that would carry her away like an enchanted princess. She got this opportunity when she was allowed to enter the Linton house. Heathcliff, on the other hand, was told to go back home. While Catherine learned the ways of the rich, Heathcliff started his plan to seek revenge.

One of the interesting aspects of the book is the fact that Heathcliff started off with the typical romantic hero. He was the orphan child, destined to rise above the standards. However, Bronte doesn’t allow Heathcliff to transcend above his position in life. Throughout the novel, Heathcliff commits act of pure evil that is very hard for the reader to believe. He starts by killing a few dogs and goes on to create even more havoc. He tortures Isabella by testing her undying love for him. He even goes on to plan the use of his own child to seek revenge on his arch nemesis, Edgar Linton.

All the while, the one thing that caused all of his pain, all of his misery, never stopped haunting him. Catherine died from the love she had for Heathcliff. Her acts of unkindness towards him led to her misery which would eventually lead to her death. Heathcliff could never bury Catherine and he felt like her ghost was always around watching him, waiting for him to join her.

Heathcliff’s ultimate revenge would take place by destroying the love between Hareton and the young Catherine. He tried to recreate a love triangle between his son Linton Heathcliff, the young Catherine, and Hareton. However, the young Catherine reminded Heathcliff of his love for her mother so much, that his desire to fulfill his act of revenge soon disappeared. When he finally realized this, his anger, his rage, turned to misery. Like his love before him, he let the misery take over, which would lead him to his own death.

Heathcliff, along with many other characters in the story, were locked inside a cage they couldn’t escape. The lock was composed of love, hatred, revenge and misery. For the second generation of children in the story (Heathcliff, Edgar Linton, Hindley, and Catherine), the self-made prisons made for some very miserable lives and depressing deaths.

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