Wuthering Heights Theme of Betrayal
Considering that Catherine bails on Heathcliff by marrying Edgar Linton, Heathcliff goes pretty easy on her. Heathcliff does disappear for three years, but when he finally accuses her of betrayal, he frames it as disloyalty to herself.
And Wuthering Heights offers all sorts of smaller examples of treachery, like when Isabella runs off with Heathcliff and Edgar disowns her, or when young Cathy violates Edgar's prohibition against leaving the grounds of Thrushcross Grange. Betrayal, like revenge, drives much of the plot.
Questions About Betrayal
- Why don't Catherine and Heathcliff just elope?
- Does Nelly have a sense of loyalty?
- Does Catherine believe she's being disloyal to Heathcliff when she marries Edgar Linton?
- Is Heathcliff disloyal for marrying Isabella?
Chew on This
Even though she goes against the yearnings of her own soul by marrying Edgar, Catherine does not see the marriage as a betrayal of her love for Heathcliff.