Updated: Nov 13, 2021
My forward journey led me to Wuthering Heights; a colossal mansion that is haunted by the contingencies of “what could have been” (T.S Eliot). It was stationed at the very top of the hills, in a vast expanse of nothingness like the open sea that stretched to a destination which is beyond what the human eye can see. There was no society to stimulate the mind so that the inhabitants of the house were stuck in an unwavering state of lethargy. The house was subsumed in the swirling fog of the night air, which settled like the weight of a chandelier burdening the ceiling with its lavish expanse of ornaments. All flora was subjected to violent erosion and decay, unable to withstand the violence of a wind so ferocious and threatening.
Stationed within the agonies and despair of the gale, a figure clad in black, blended with the shadows of the night. He sat despairing and grieving next to a grave, a lock of hair squeezed tightly in his hands by the power of his fists. Engraved on the stone was the name of Catherine.
In a paroxysm of despair, Heathcliff’s exclamations of suffering were powerful enough to rouse the peaceful sleep in the graveyard. The agony in the tone of the wretched was enough to stimulate a sense of pity in the most unfeeling creature.
Crouching on the ground, he said, “I know now that I have been cursed for life. Always the outcast. A degraded being at your mercy. But where are you Catherine? Why did you leave? I have no one to love me on this miserable earth. No one but the ghost of “what could have been.” No one but the ghost of Catherine, which has dissolved to a mere figment of my imagination. What are you now but a mere apparition; a fading image of an unattainable past?”
The words thus uttered, he had extinguished the last residing breath within him. He died softly next to Catherine’s grave, his heart frozen still by the power of the blizzard. He was transported to a different realm; a reality that is all detachment from the distress of life on earth.
In this other dimension, Heathcliff’s rage had finally subsided. He was no longer battling the demons of the earth; those were the monsters that disguised themselves in human form, bent on making his living life a misery. Now they exist no longer. Heathcliff need not be characterized as the foreigner, the outcast, the servant, and the lesser being. He discovered in death that there was a latent goodness residing within himself. This part was untouched by the atrocities of the earth, but rather buried deep within the layers of rage that had accumulated in the past years.
United with his love at last, away from the impediments of the cruel earth, he was finally able to settle down and nestle in the comforting knowledge of an eternity of a peaceful detachment, and tranquil sleep.