Mental Illnesses In Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights

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While mankind has made substantial progress in ridding the world of diseases, mental illnesses are still prominent, and often overlooked. In the novel Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë highlights illnesses caused by tensions in order to construct a world where mental health problems and internal struggles take on a life of their own. In the case of Catherine Earnshaw Linton and Heathcliff Earnshaw, the body follows the mind 's descent into distress, with mental illness inflating strenuous circumstances. On the surface, the fevers and hallucinations are nothing more than a plot point orchestrated to spawn grief. However, upon further analysis, it is apparent that the illness represents far more than physical afflictions. In Thomas Foster 's How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Foster acknowledges that the purpose of including such illnesses is for the reader 's benefit, allowing the character 's condition to reveal deeper insights "about the story at large" and how the body 's deterioration is dependent on circumstance as well as the character 's mental well-being (Foster 112). Heathcliff and Catherine arguably suffer the most-both physically and mentally-as they go through their respective cycles of misery. While Catherine 's fever is more concrete than Heathcliff 's act of starvation, both of their afflictions result in them withering away. Misery is just one of the many consequences of the unacknowledged tension between them. Nonetheless, their physical conditions

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