In Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights, the antihero Heathcliff is the main character. He goes insane after Catherine’s death. While he does not take his own life following the loss of his lover, he dies of hunger at the conclusion of the tale.
Wuthering Heights is a novel by Emily Bronte, first published in 1847. Wuthering Heights is a tragic love story between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, with passionate moments interspersed throughout. Every chapter of Wuthering Heights depicts the death or presages it, from the start to the end of the book. For a variety of reasons, 11 out of 13 characters die before they reach old age throughout the book’s duration. Among them is Catherine Earnshaw’s beloved Heathcliff. His loss signals his descent into madness and ultimate downfall.
After Catherine gives birth to her daughter, she dies. Heathcliff understands that he cannot live without her. He is physically active and in good health. But Heathcliff believes his soul is already dead, and the sorrow has extinguished all of his noble qualities. He’s referred to as a living corpse with no remorse or compassion remaining inside the book. When he dies, he plans to be buried next to her so they can be reunited in death. So why did he not end his life and join Catherine in the afterlife?
The following are the reasons: Heathcliff is insane and lives on to satisfy his desire for vengeance. He becomes cruel and abusive toward everyone in his life as his heart yearns for vengeance. Edgar Linton, Catherine’s husband, is devastated by her death. However, he retains his self-respect and compassion. In contrast, Heathcliff becomes violent and blames everyone, including Edgar, for Catherine’s tragic demise. His one wish is to inflict pain on others.
He marries Linton’s sister, Isabella, as a part of his devious plan. When they leave Thrushcross Grange, Heathcliff kills Edgar’s dog despite his wife’s disapproval. Isabella dies years later after enduring emotional and physical torture at the hands of her father. When his tyrannical and homicidal father tracks him down, he perceives his son as an ideal instrument for evil purposes. Because Linton was named after his bitter foe, Heathcliff hates him in part.
The antihero devises a strategy to marry Linton and Cathy, Edgar’s daughter. The union will allow Heathcliff to acquire ownership of Thrushcross Grange from the Lintons. As if that weren’t enough, Heathcliff is aware that his son will perish soon. So he entices Cathy into getting engaged as quickly as feasible with Linton in order to enact further vengeance on Edgar. At the age of 17, Linton dies after being poisoned by Edgar.
In the end, it is revealed that Catherine is the only individual to whom Edgar has faith and love. In 18 years after her death, Catherine’s spirit appears to him and requests entry via the bedroom window. Heathcliff succumbs to his mental illness at the novel’s conclusion. He loses his sanity, goes on a hunger strike, and dies of starvation. Finally, when Heathcliff’s body is interred next to Cather in Wuthering Heights, the lovers may reunite in death as ghostly manifestations on the local moorlands.