Wuthering Heights
Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Revenge

Even though the novel is a great romance, Brontë doesn't follow the strict guidelines of the genre: the revenge plot is just as powerful, if not more so, than the love that pulls Catherine and...

Love

It's tough to really call Wuthering Heights a romance, since the two lovers spend so much time making each other miserable. Still, we know Catherine and Heathcliff experience some sort of transcend...

Family

Talk about dysfunctional. Does anyone really like each other in this book? Instead of bringing comfort and peace, families in Wuthering Heights are a source of violence, alienation, jealousy, and g...

The Supernatural

As discussed in "Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory," supernatural elements permeate Wuthering Heights, as does a general sense of the mysterious. From beginning to end, there's no avoiding the supernatu...

Suffering

Just about everyone in Wuthering Heights suffers physical and emotional trauma, and many of them even die from it. Heathcliff avoids physical illness, but his love for Catherine causes an extraordi...

Society and Class

Even though Wuthering Heights' two families live out in the middle of nowhere, they still abide by the constraints of class. Brontë lets us know through Catherine's aspirations to marry Edgar...

Foreignness and the Other

Heathcliff is made to feel like an outsider by his own adoptive family, which fuels his desire for revenge. It's never clear where he is originally from, although Mr. Earnshaw says he picked him up...

Betrayal

Considering that Catherine unceremoniously bails on Heathcliff by marrying Edgar Linton, Heathcliff goes pretty easy on her. Heathcliff does disappear for three years, but when he finally accuses h...

Need help with College?