The Theme of Losing a Loved One in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and in the Poem Remembrance

In Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff, a main character, loses the love of his life, Catherine. Similarly, in the poem “Remembrance”, the speaker has lost someone they loved. While they have these similarities, the endings of Wuthering Heights and “Remembrance” are much more different and demonstrate two different ways of handling grief and death. In the final chapter of Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff’s health begins to detoriate. He refuses any food that is offered to him, and he wishes to be alone often.

It also seems as though he has been seeing the ghost of Catherine, as a servant overhears him muttering in his bedroom, and ”the only one I could catch was the name of Catherine, coupled with some wild term of endearment or suffering, spoken as one would speak to a person present;”

Eventually, his refusal to eat kills him, but his death is not undesired by himself — when he is found, it is said that ”he seemed to smile”. Heathcliff slowly killed himself to be reunited with Catherine once more, no longer to be full of the grief caused by her absence.

However, in the final stanza of the poem “Remembrance”, the speaker feels differently than Heathcliff. The speaker decides not to wallow in her grief and doesn’t allow it to consume her. The speaker says she will “dare not let it anguish” and “dare not indulge in memory’s rapturous pain,” meaning that she will not continue to anguish over this death and not keep thinking back to memories that bring her pain.

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The pain of looking back on past memories is compared to an ”empty world” — she will not gain anything from looking back and wallowing in her pain, so there is no point to doing it. The speaker in “Remembrance” and Heathcliff of Wuthering Heights differ greatly in the ways they choose to grieve and how they accept death. While the speaker realizes that there is no use for her pain, and wallowing in her misery will bring her nothing, Heathcliff instead spends his entire life in pain brought on by the death of Catherine. In the end, his torment over it leads to his own death. While one of these people learns to accept death, and is able to feel its pain but eventually move on, the other suffers over it his entire life.

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The Theme of Losing a Loved One in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and in the Poem Remembrance. (2022, Nov 17). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-theme-of-losing-a-loved-one-in-wuthering-heights-by-emily-bronte-and-in-the-poem-remembrance/

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