Theme Of Sickness And Death In Wuthering Heights

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Emily Brontë approaches the idea of sickness and death of the characters in her novel Wuthering Heights in a peculiar way. The characters that are ill are usually mentally ill, and their deaths often result from physical ailments derived from mental illness. The drive for revenge and desire for love that reigns among the characters often lands them in stressful situations that cause them to spiral downward into these mental illnesses. Emily Brontë’s emphasis on the motif of sickness and death in Wuthering Height deepens the drama of the plot and constructs more complicated relationships between the characters. The interesting thing about the novel is that the characters that die usually do so after living relatively short lives. In his article, “Sickness and Health in Wuthering Heights,” Charles Lemon states, “When I last re-read Wuthering Heights, I was struck afresh by the brevity of the lives of most of the characters and by the poor health which they had to endure.” This statement supports the idea that the characters do not live long, healthy lives, but rather brief and sickly ones. The sickness and death starts at the beginning of the novel, and just continues from there. First, we have the illness and death of Mr. Earnshaw, father of Catherine and Hindley Earnshaw, and adopted father of orphaned protagonist Heathcliff. After adopting Heathcliff, Mr. Earnshaw finds that he actually loves Heathcliff much more than his own son, Hindley. For this reason,

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