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Wuthering Heights Research Paper Essay

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This sample of an academic paper on Wuthering Heights Research Paper reveals arguments and important aspects of this topic. Read this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and the conclusion below.

How to Attain Salvation: According to Wuthering Heigths Imagine, if you will, that the world was to meet its demise tomorrow, and life would once and for all cease to exist. In the midst of complete chaos and destruction, one thing is sure to be running through the minds of all of humanity: personal salvation. In the event that tomorrow would mark everyones death, Christians, Jews, Atheists, and Muslims alike would want to know, if salvation exists, did they manage to attain it?

In Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, the world is not coming to an end, however, death is in the air and romantic, religious, and self-created salvation is evident everywhere. This tale of vengeance, jealousy, obsession, hate, and love details many kinds of salvation and how they are attained. As humanity awaits its eternal rest, they may find it ironic to discover that in every case, true salvation was never acquired without some sort of suffering. As defined by the dictionary, salvation is the state of being saved or protected from harm or risk. The stories of Hareton, Joseph, Nelly Dean, and Heathcliff and their salvation are no exception.

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All four of these characters endure emotionally harmful experiences before finally finding their peace, whatever that peace might be. While each case is very different in what they suffer through and how they overcome it, the path to salvation is made very clear: suffer through something great and get rewarded in the end. Perhaps the simplest, truest act of redemption can be seen in the progression of Hareton’s story. Hareton’s upbringing is unstable right from the start when his mother dies giving birth to him and his father collapses into alcoholism.

As if that wouldn’t be enough to scar a child for life, Hareton’s father dies and leaves him to become the target of Heathcliff’s revenge. Hareton from then on leads a life as an undeserving servant at the mercy of the relentless Heathcliff. “But poor Hareton, the most wronged, was the only one who truly suffered,” (page 315) said Nelly Dean in response to Heathcliff’s death showing that Hareton respectfully endured his adversity and even managed to show compassion for Heathcliff when he died. It is not until the very end of the story that Hareton finally gets the reward he rightfully deserves.

Heathcliff’s death marks Hareton’s freedom and he is finally allowed to pursue his love for young Cathy. Catherine and Hareton seem to be the only characters more or less unaffected by greed, selfishness, pride, and vengeance. Their marriage becomes Wuthering Heights only “happily ever after” and Hareton prevails with true romantic salvation. Not only is Hareton’s salvation the purest and most innocent, but it is also symbolic for what could have been between Catherine and Heathcliff. As the story goes, Catherine was too good for Heathcliff in the social rankings, which is why she felt she had to marry Edgar.

A similar situation repeats when Heathcliff somehow convinces young Cathy that she is too good for Hareton and should therefor marry Linton. Heathcliff admits “Hareton’s aspect was the ghost of my immortal love, of my wild endeavors to hold my right, my degradation, my pride, my happiness, and my anguish,” proving that he knew full well that Hareton didn’t deserve his punishment but that degrading Hareton was equivalent to is own childhood degradation and if he was not allowed to find true love and happiness, neither could Hareton.

Had Catherine’s plan actually succeeded, she would have offered Heathcliff salvation by marrying him just as young Cathy did to Hareton. Joseph and Nelly Dean represent the religious forms of salvation and follow all the Bible’s guidelines in order to obtain it. In this case, Joseph and Nelly Dean’s pain and suffering are derived from sin and the cost of their sin. God says that salvation is achieved through accepting Jesus as our savior and living our lives in honor of him. Joseph repeatedly comments on the devil, heaven, Scripture, the Lord, and the Bible, proving his firm beliefs in the Christian faith.

While almost every time he speaks Joseph manages to reference christianity, Nelly Dean is fairly more subtle in introducing her religious views. Upon responding to Heathcliff’s irrational fasting and happiness, Nelly Dean admonishes “you have lived a selfish and unchristian life; and probably hardly had a bible in your hands during that period” (page 313). She then goes on to say that Heathcliff is unfit for heaven and he should not be so happy and ready for death because in no way has he managed to earn salvation.

This shows that Nelly Dean believes that God’s way to salvation is the only way and that is the path she has chosen to follow. Since Joseph and Nelly Dean would have to die in order for us to see their salvation, it cannot be declared whether or not they obtained it. It can, however, be said that in order to achieve salvation in heaven, both Joseph and Nelly Dean must first bear through the sinful and unrighteous life on earth. Certainly the most interesting form of salvation depicted in Wuthering Heights is that of Heathcliff.

Heathcliff’s story initiates through heartbreak and pride, is carried out by revenge, and ceases with self-instilled power. It is because of his suffering that Heathcliff fabricates his own form of salvation. A salvation in which he makes the rules; a salvation in which heaven and hell don’t matter or even exist; and a salvation in which he can spend the rest of eternity with Catherine. When Nelly Dean tells Heathcliff that he is not fit for heaven, he has already come to that realization. Heathcliff knew that being damned to hell meant and afterlife without Catherine.

Even if he did make it into heaven, Edgar, and Hindly and everything that prevented him from having Catherine in the first place would still be there and that wasn’t good enough for him. “I have nearly attained my heaven; and that of others is altogether unvalued and uncoveted by me! ” (page 313) he exclaimed to Nelly saying that taking his revenge on those who wronged him has finally satisfied him, but his ultimate salvation will come from dying and being buried next to Catherine where he rightfully belongs and will stay forever.

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