Wuthering Heights
Emily Brontë
Contributed by Karim Chandra
Chapter 8

Tuberculosis consumed Hindley's wife, Frances. She died on Hindley's arms after giving birth to Hareton Earnshaw. Hindley never recovered his wife's death. Hindley cursed God and took to drinking. He became violent and abusive. The servants fled the estate. Cathy was arrogant and uncontrollable. Cathy became frustrated with divided attention to both Heathcliff and Edgar both of whom she professed to love. The Victorian time's tuberculosis killed many people especially children and mothers. The knowledge how it spreads was unclear. It was called consumer because of it wasted away its victims. The theme of disease introduced in the book. The condition is an equalizer. The wealthy in Thrushcross Grande and others in Wuthering heights both suffered at the hands of consumption. Consumption killed mothers, children and was the leading cause of death during medieval times.


The effects of evil and violence are primarily more evil and more destruction. The violence directed towards Heathcliff and denied opportunities creates a monster that disrupts life in Wuthering Heights. Violence breeds pain and frustration. Violence and abuses are contagious from a person experiencing it to another given an opportunity. Cathy has a mixed character represented in her life with Edgar and Heathcliff.  She displays care and affection at one point and violence and abuse in the next. Cathy is not stable temperamentally. Cathy's indecision from a personal perspective creates problems with people she associates.  Choosing to marry Edgar out of prejudice to Heathcliff makes her regret and haunt his true love in life and death. The theme of death shows how death means different emotions to different people. Hindley was confident to mock his father at the point of death and could not imagine his wife Frances dying. Since Hindley got married without family involvement, his loss was to him squarely. The disbelieve and response to Frances death like questioning God's will, taking solace in alcohol and becoming abusive is too much to bare.

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