La douce empoisonneuse

par

Accès complet et GRATUIT à cette fiche de lecture pour nos membres.

Arto Paasilinna

Heathcliff, in one sense, is a caricature of the gothic hero. A kind of Byronic hero, he has an exaggerated sense of love that borders on obsession, and is more to be pitied than admired. This love, moreover, springs out of a compulsion to maintain something good in his life. As far as he is concerned, Catherine is the only good thing he has ever known. His master is a tyrant; the curate is a likely pedant; Joseph is a Pharisee; and Linton is a rival.

Heathcliff’s actions for much of the novel, however, are centered largely on revenge—not on love. When Catherine appears to reject him, he leaves Wuthering Heights and returns only when he is capable of putting his revenge into play. Throughout the devilish remainder of his life, he assists Hindley in a kind of moral suicide, drives a wedge between Isabella and her brother, hastens (perhaps unintentionally) the death of Catherine, does nothing to advance the learning of Hareton, and shows no kindness to his own son, Linton. Even so, Hareton, at the end of the novel, will not allow Cathy to disrespect Heathcliff. Nelly will not allow his orders to go unheeded. Indeed, many of the characters cannot help but have an overruling sympathy for Heathcliff—even as we witness time and time again their aversion for him. Heathcliff provokes in characters, as well as in readers, a divided response.

His end, moreover, is appropriate; having rejected the world which has rejected him, he yearns to be with the only thing that has ever truly embraced him—the soul of Catherine. Whether Catherine and Heathcliff rest together in eternal peace is not the issue, even though Lockwood suggests that it is impossible to think that they rest otherwise. Despite their ill natures, their duplicity, and their madness, both Catherine and Heathcliff are true to one another inasmuch as they are able. Little more can be said.

Inscrivez-vous pour trouver des essais sur Arto Paasilinna >