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Sample Student Essay 1

I disagree strongly that unchecked passion exerts a brutalizing influence. I think that a brutal character exhibits brutish characteristics. Passion is the result of intense feelings. One can have a passion for another that results in an elevating experience and actions.

Heathcliff was a miserable person. Catherine's assessment of him was clearly true–he was a "wolfish" individual. All evidence points to his being the same since he was a child. It is possible that his early experiences molded hm into a bitter, angry, vengeful man. His affinity towards Catherine was forged in the absence of any kindness shown to him, other than her father's, which he did not seem to overly appreciate. This attraction solidified as Heathcliff reached maturity, but his passion involved much more than love. His obsession was fueled by insecurity, rage, jealousy and, I believe, a basic meaness of character. One's passion could evolve, even at the loss of its object, into a striving for worthiness. Heathcliff's viciousness encompassed all around him. There was no consideration for those Catherine might have valued. There was no discrimination only towards only those who had wronged him. He was a sadistic, violent man who never saw any need to repent. His feeble attempts, near the end of his life to seek some small companionship was almost pitiful. His abrupt withdrawal predictable. Passion did not create his brutality. His brutality made his passion an inescapable effect of his emotional life.

Sample Student essay 2

Wuthering Heights does demonstrate the brutalizing influence of unchecked passion. The very location of this misanthrope's paradise makes for the environment of a Hobbesian return to nature where all men are at war with all men for everything. In moving this far from all social ties you have put yourself on the edge of the world. Heathcliff's name seems to say he is the cliff at the end of the heather. The phallic cliff pointing up to the sky, dominating the landscape, unscaleable, unfeeling to others, feeling only for himself.

If you follow the degeneracy of passion to brutality you will see the different steps. The wild energies of youthful Heathcliff and Catherine were innocent. Heathcliff is the spark, however. He is the alien element, the gypsy child, forcibly introduced in the happy home on the heath by Mr. Earnshaw almost as if, like a Frankenstein, he had created him on his own, he was his favorite over his own blood. The wild factor on the wild heights forms the wild link to Catherine from which all tragedy will occur and from which all passion shall burst forth.

The passion Hindley must have at being seconded by a stranger in his father's favor, a stranger who caused him not to have his violin expected on his first visit. Heathcliff gave a step back to civilization (no violin) to Hindley with his appearance. Heathcliff must have made Hindley jealous too by becoming Hindley's sister's favorite too. Hindley lost a father and a sister to the outsider. His passion comes out when Mr. Earnshaw dies and he six years older and in control can make Heathcliff pay.

Hindley's brutality to Heathcliff will come back to him. Catherine's liking the civilized world of the Lintons causes a split with Heathcliff. Again Heathcliff runs off because in his passion he does not even wait to hear the full speech Catherine is making and leaves hearing only the negative part. Passion in control makes for actions that everybody pays for, for too quick a response, for not communicating at all.

Catherine's wretched passion takes the forms of rages and tantrums. Such behavior isolates her from Nelly. In losing her own control she destroys her health, dies before her days, and has her baby at seven months pregnant (but could an ego so vast and narcissistic even have cared about her baby's sake)? I think Catherine had to die in childbirth because she could not bear to share the passionate stage with another little scene stealer. Edgar lives longer because he is civilized; he goes to his books; he reads in his library; he controls his passions in reality and not just to let them out later in vengence as Heathcliff's phoney control is. As Edgar survives longer by retreating to his library, Isabella survives longer by fleeing Wuthering Heights and her bad marriage to a demon.

To live under the emotional pressure of excess passion burns you out, makes you irrational, steals your life, makes all others your enemy because narcissism is disguised as pasison. Heathcliff wanted the world, wanted control, and he got it. I believe Heathcliff died the year after he owned (conquered) Thrushcross because he was not meant to own civilization. Thrushcross brought Catherine Linton into his home, Lockwood to visit and with his visit the reappearance of Catherine's ghost. The evil of Wuthering Heights burnt itself (Heathcliff out) by its very success in expanding to Thrushcross Grange.

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