Infanticide with Heathcliff and Catherine in Wuthering Heights

Max Colvill
AP English and Literature
Brandon Abdon
13 February 2012

Infanticide with Heathcliff and Catherine in Wuthering Heights
Although Wade Thompson argues that the fathers of Emily Brontë’s novel, Wuthering Heights, have a desire to kill their children, Heathcliff and Catherine’s love forces them to blindly harm their children.
In Wade Thompson’s article regarding infanticide in Brontë’s novel, he claims that the children have to learn to survive against “hostile adults” who have the “desire to kill or maim them,” (Thompson 69). The adults in do at times become hostile, for example when Catherine wakes up Nelly Dean by pulling her hair, but the reason of the demise of the children’s health and sanity is in response to the controversial love between Catherine and Heathcliff. Thompson defines this as “infanticide,” but Heathcliff and Catherine are not the people directly killing these children. Thompson mentions that no one can understand the “motivation behind Heathcliff’s killing” of Linton Heathcliff without understanding the love between Catherine and Heathcliff (Thompson 69). Their love is the direct cause of infanticide in this novel. Without their love Heathcliff wouldn’t have absolutely despised Linton, because of his relation to Edgar. Thompson examines that even with Edgar’s strong love and care for Cathy he is “willing to entertain the thought of killing his daughter” instead of allowing her to marry Linton, which spawns from Edgars pure hatred for Heathcliff (Thompson 70). Because of Heathcliff’s love for Edgar’s deceased wife, Catherine, he shows thoughts of infanticide. This abandoned love between the deceased Catherine and Heathcliff proves that love can be blinding to reality.
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Thompson also analyzes the lack of “motherly love” and how that relates to the many acts of infanticide coming from the “hostile” father. He claims that the children are left to “fend for themselves early in life” with the lack of   “love...