Obsession. Something that can ruin you. Obsession can and will get into your very soul to drive you mad. Obsession can turn a happy go lucky boy into a raving lunatic. In our lives we all experience mild forms of obsession. But the real thing--is terrifying. Edgar Linton is experiencing such a spiraling meltdown driven by obsession in Wuthering Heights the novel by Emily Bronte. Edgar has gone from an obsessive hatred of Heathcliff to an obsession with his daughter. This obsession controls his actions, as well as his emotions. His very soul is changed by it.
Growing up, Edgar becomes an enemy of young Heathcliff from the very beginning. Edgar has taken a liking to Catherine at the same time that Heathcliff does, or rather after. From the moment she arrives at Thrushcross Grange, Edgar is quite taken with her. One night while Heathcliff and Catherine are roaming around outside, Hindley has the bolts locked to teach them a ...view middle of the document...
He doesn’t hate her but quite the opposite: He loves her an enormous amount. But because of his hatred for Heathcliff, he is now obsessed with keeping her away from Wuthering Heights so she does not encounter any of the residents there, Heathcliff being the main one. We can gather that Edgar is deathly afraid that
Catherine will meet Heathcliff’s son, Linton, and he will lose her to the Heights. At one instance while Nelly and Catherine are out bird hunting, Catherine disappears from sight for a little while. Nelly finds her conversing with Heathcliff and Hareton. Catherine is invited to Wuthering Heights, and decides to go. After enjoying her visit there, she demands to know why her father, Edgar has kept the existence of its inhabitants a secret from her. She says to him “ It was because you disliked Mr. Heathcliff.” (Bronte204.) Edgar then proceeds to lie to his daughter, for no other reason than that he doesn’t want her to think less of him. He wants--no he needs--desperately for her to love him and for her to think better of him than she does of Heathcliff. Alas, despite every negative thing he says toward Heathcliff, Catherine sees the truth and knows that she has been kept in the dark as the result of her father’s hatred. His obsessive hatred. We see in this scene that he has indeed been trying to keep the existence of Heathcliff and Catherine’s cousin a secret, but to no avail.
As we see from the previous events, Edgar’s obsession with Heathcliff only developed with time, and was put upon Catherine. An obsession to keep her sort of cleansed of anything going on in Wuthering Heights. Obsession relates to Wuthering Heights in many forms, most prominent in the gentleman of the novel. While women feel it as well, men typically express it in more detail. In today’s world, obsession is even more a dictator of our lives. We are so often obsessed with making sure that whatever wrong we have been done is returned that we forget what is important, as Edgar did. By watching Edgar spiral into a hopeless obsessive mindset we should model our lives differently than him. Of all the evils that inhabit the world, the most dangerous is by far--obsession.