Brontë had a skill for poetry, and this shows in the dialogues of her characters in ‘Wuthering Heights’ – as their quotes appear sharp and brisk, sometimes dramatic, and on the readers’ side, needing some extra attention to understand. This article will highlight the best quotes featured in Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights.’
Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same
No doubt one of ‘Wuthering Heights’ most popular quotes, this statement comes up short and direct, yet deep and poetic. Emily Brontë’s character, Catherine Earnshaw, makes this statement in an attempt to express how deeply connected she’s become with Heathcliff.
Catherine is used to describing what she shares with Heathcliff with the most intense words, and each time this happens, the reader typically feels almost sorry for them, because, instead of such feeling is a source of joy and happiness, it’s become something of a burden or a cross to be carried by them. Even when circumstances keep them apart and into the hands of another lover, they can’t get over it or move past such despairing affection they have for each other.
Betrayal and Faithlessness
You teach me now how cruel you’ve been—cruel and false. Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort.
Here, a heartbroken Heathcliff speaks to Catherine after she has decided against being with him in favor of Edgar Linton. Heathcliff doesn’t take this lightly and feels it’s an unforgivable betrayal on Catherine’s end.
The protagonist never fully could recover from this act, and it’s safe to say that this is part of the reason he becomes the remorseless, cruel man readers later get to see at the latter end of the book. For Heathcliff, what breaks his heart the most wasn’t the fact that Catherine chooses another man over him, but the reason that after doing so, she still professes her love towards him – an incident that takes place frequently, rendering Heathcliff useless and unable to move on with life.
Grief-stricken and Torn Apart
Do I want to live? . . . [W]ould you like to live with your soul in the grave?
Heathcliff may have been the one character, aside from Nelly, who enjoys a relatively long life – overseeing all three generations of the book, but living for him isn’t any fun or enjoyment any more than it is suffering and torment (and it becomes very obvious after Catherine dies).
Heathcliff’s affection for Catherine has become toxic, in the same manner, hers is for him. And the event of Catherine’s death, Heathcliff is caught existing without hope, drive, or ambition. The quote here is nothing but the author’s attempt to help Heathcliff paint a picture of his state of mind after losing Catherine. He may look alive and breathing, but his soul is dead and buried with Catherine’s.
Heartbreak and Disillusionment
He’s not a human being,’ she retorted; ‘and he has no claim on my charity. I gave him my heart, and he took and pinched it to death, and flung it back to me.
This quote is deeply emotional and uttered by one of the casualties of Heathcliff and Catherine’s failed love. Isabella Linton, sister to Edgar Linton, couldn’t help but express her heartbreak and disillusionment through this quote after she gets the most horrible treatment from Heathcliff whom she marries and moves to ‘Wuthering Heights’ with.
Poor Isabella would have thought that showering Heathcliff with love and affection would erase whatever past feelings he has for Catherine, but it doesn’t work out for her. For Heathcliff, no one can replace Catherine – whether in life or death. And although he has respect for Isabella for all her worth, he had made up his mind long ago to get revenge on all who wronged him – including Edgar Linton. His horrible treatment of Isabella is more of a reprisal act, indirectly sending a message to her brother, Edgar Linton.
Is Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ quote worthy?
Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ is about as quotable as any other great book. Her lines are deep. Her character is emotional. And her plots are captivating and filled with moral lessons.
Why does quotes in ‘Wuthering Heights’ sound so much like a poem?
It’s not coincidental that quotes in ‘Wuthering Heights’ sound like reading a poem, and this is because the book’s author, Emily Brontë, was an avid poet who wrote a lot of poetry before ‘Wuthering Heights.’ Her poetic flair may have rubbed off on the book.
What is the general theme of the quotes in ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë?
Quotes in Emily Brontë’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ are characteristically somber and emotional in terms of their underlying themes, this is because the characters are found either expressing feelings of heartbreak, grief, or betrayal.