Coping with Death
Emily Brontë includes many contrasting elements in her novel, Wuthering Heights. One of these contrasts deals with Hindley’s loss of Frances, and Edgar’s loss of Catherine. The two men react to these deaths in different ways, and this polarity also represents an important aspect of the novel, a contrast of life and death.
When Hindley loses his wife, Frances, he resorts to alcoholism and secluding himself from everyone he had ever cared about. He starts wasting his life away, placing his love and care into drinking instead of the people around him, and himself. For his sister’s funeral, “he kept himself sober…tolerably sober…Consequently, he rose, in suicidal low spirits…and instead, he sat down by the fire and swallowed gin or brandy by tumblerfuls” (158).
He is not even able to stay sober to attend this tragic event. Catherine had been the only link to family Hindley had left. Though Hindley feels terrible about her death, he cannot even bring himself up to say goodbye to Catherine. The cause of this change in personality was the death of Hindley’s wife, Frances. Although his relationship with Frances was not a major focus of the novel, it was a significant one as it helped to characterize Hindley. “[Hindley] had room in his heart only for two idols—his wife and himself: he doted on both, and adored one…” (57-58).
It is quite obvious throughout the novel that Hindley is remarkably fond of Frances. After Frances dies, Hindley’s character transitions from envious to dangerous and violent. On the other hand, when Edgar loses Catherine, he does not opt for alcohol. He closes himself off from everyone around him, and “kept his room” (155) since Edgar was also extremely fond of Catherine, despite her wild temper. Edgar’s relationship with Catherine contributes to the main conflict of the story, as it is what keeps Heathcliff and Catherine’s love from being fully carried through. This constant depression resulting from Catherine’s death causes Edgar to easily fall ill. “Edgar [also] lacked the ruddy health that you will generally meet in these parts [of the country]” (175), which is even more of a reason for Edgar’s health to fail during his depression. Edgar’s mental illness eventually leads to his own death. While Edgar’s emotional response to Catherine’s death is subtler, illness overtakes him, leading to his death. On the other hand, Hindley’s reaction to Frances’s death through alcoholism forcibly brings upon him an extreme uncontrollable illness, and eventually death.
The central conflict in the novel "Wuthering Heights" written by Emily Bronte is Heathcliff. Heathcliff's internal conflicts affect how all of the other characters interrelate. Heathcliff throughout the book never does anything honorable or dignified. Heathcliff creates whirlwinds of problems by just being present, sometimes, by not even doing a thing. Heathcliff's problems not only the affect the ...
One similarity between Edgar and Hindley’s loss is the contrast of life and death. Even though this is a connection between the deaths of Edgar and Hindley’s wives, the two men handle this situation in different ways. Hindley views the life of his child in place of his wife as something terrible, while Edgar views the life of his child in place of Catherine as something to cherish. After Frances passes away, Hindley does not know where to put all the love he had for her, and he does not acknowledge the fact that with the loss of his wife comes also the last connection he has with her: Hareton. Hindley lives the rest of his life avoiding Hareton and not appreciating him. When Heathcliff returns, Hindley essentially leaves him in charge of Hareton. As a result, “ ‘[Hareton] was told the curate should have his—teeth dashed down his—throat, if he stepped over the threshold—Heathcliff had promised that!’ ” (101).
Heathcliff therefore ruins Hareton, and Hindley displays no responsibility for his son. Conversely, Edgar looks at his own last connection to his wife from a more optimistic perspective. He spends more time with Cathy, and values the time he has with her. Everyday, “she accompanied him into the grounds” (205), though Edgar never allowed her to go “beyond the range of the park by herself. Mr. Linton would take her with him a mile or so outside, on rare occasions; but he trusted her to no one else” (173).
The Afterlife is an area of human consciousness we all enter upon leaving the physical world at physical death. Throughout history we've questioned if there is a life after death. Along the way, our religions and various philosophers offered beliefs and opinions to answer this commonly asked question. However, many of the answers contradict each other making it hard to figure out. "Belief in life ...
Edgar loved Cathy very dearly, and he mainly heaped most of the love he had for Catherine onto Cathy.
Hindley and Edgar are two very different men; therefore the ways in which they responded to their wives’ deaths were different. However the result of those deaths also meant life, through Hindley and Edgar’s children. This contrast of life and death promotes the many polarities and parallels in Wuthering Heights.