The Dichotomy Relationship Between Heathcliff And Catherine

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Snider claims that “[v]ampiric relationships are about power, about controlling the weaker person, sucking his or her blood and vitiating him or her. That is why a healthy relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine was impossible” (n.p.). There are several issues concerning this statement: while it is certainly Heathcliff who invokes vampiric imagery more than any other character, and who is most reminiscent of Lord Ruthven, Nelson argues that Catherine and Heathcliff are “equally vampiric” (93) in their destructive behaviour, and it is true that they do share many of the attributes which invite a vampiric reading of Heathcliff. What is more, Catherine is the one who returns from death to haunt Heathcliff, who is a victim as much as he is an aggressor. He describes this dichotomy when he explains to Nelly that his one wish, his symbolic 'hunger ' has “devoured [his] existence” (346). This quote illustrates that Heathcliff 's vampirism is not one-sided, that he is being consumed as well. Furthermore, it is not vampirism which causes the power imbalance between Catherine and Heathcliff but, as Nelson shows, the social norms which are imposed upon them. Nelson makes the compelling argument that they turn vampiric because they cannot be together, not vice versa. If anything, vampirism allows them to be equals again, as it ultimately liberates them from the aforementioned social structures which keep them apart. At last, if one accepts that Catherine 's ghost is not merely a

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