This novel is a testament to the accumulation of clichés clogging the realms of literature featuring romance. It includes an unnatural, obsessive love that devoured everything in its purlieu out of pure malice which somehow throws more moral compass into a tizzy.
Heathcliff and Catherine’s romance made me swoon. Do pardon me if I shun those patriarchy-approved alpha males who infantilise their lovers, their dishonest gleam of dignity and the assurance of domesticated happily-ever-afters. The love Catherine and Heathcliff share is so bottomless that it heats up your blood and is food for your soul. Heathcliff and Catherine’s love was beyond their control. They were like a storm wrecking lives of those who sought to throttle it. It leaves readers like me intrigued towards their relationship.
“…he shows perfectly clearly that this irrepressible violence is neither a storm in a teacup nor the re-emergence of savage instincts nor even a consequence of resentment: it is man restructuring himself.”
This is one of the strongest and concise defence I can provide for Heathcliff. His fury that won’t be suppressed and its devastating expressions. Heathcliff lived in a white-washed society breeding manifold evils, and Heathcliff was the perpetual outsider. He is the ‘thing’ Nelly Dean, Mrs Earnshaw, Hindley and even infant Catherine see as nothing other than a smelly, baseborn mortal deserving the disrespect. An individual of colour stranded in a world, being cleaved into a cruel society of polarities of light and dark, coloniser and colonised, powerful and powerless, white master and black slave, abuser and abused.
‘…I dreamt I was sleeping the last sleep by that sleeper, with my heart stopped and my cheek frozen against hers.
‘And if she had been dissolved into earth, or worse, what would you have dreamt of then?’ I said.
‘Of dissolving with her, and being more happy still!’ he answered.
And there it is. If Catherine is Heathcliff – “I am Heathcliff,” says Catherine in Wuthering Heights – then Heathcliff, too, is Catherine. Two beings pursuing to change the public ban against their individuation and find their salvation in each other. So take away your sinister Rochesters and holier-than-thou Jane Eyres. Give me Heathcliff and Catherine instead. Give me their petulant anger, their restlessness and their in-controllable love.