Emily Brontë Quotes from Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights 1943 edition fronticpiece

Though Emily Brontë (1818 – 1848), sister of Charlotte and Anne Brontë barely lived to age thirty, she produced one of the most beloved novels of passion and tragedy — Wuthering Heights (1847). One of the most influential of romantic novels, it touches on economic, social, and psychological issues. Of Heathcliff, the complicated hero of the novel, she wrote: “Whether it is right or advisable to create beings like Heathcliff, I do not know; the writer who possesses the creative gift owns something that, at times, strangely wills and works for itself.”

Here are 15 quotes from Wuthering Heights that reflect the passionate and tumultuous nature of its characters.

“I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.”

“I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is or should be an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here?”

“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

“Any relic of the dead is precious, if they were valued living.”

Wuthering Heights
Image: http://www.wuthering-heights.co.uk/locations/wuthering-heights.php

“I am now quite cured of seeking pleasure in society, be it country or town. A sensible man ought to find sufficient company in himself.”

“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.”

“I cannot express it: but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is, or should be, an existence of yours beyond you.”

“Heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung me out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy.”

“Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living. You said I killed you — haunt me then. The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe — I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always — take any form — drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”

Still from the 1939 film version of Wuthering Heights starring Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier

“They DO live more in earnest, more in themselves, and less in surface, change, and frivolous external things. I could fancy a love for life here almost possible; and I was a fixed unbeliever in any love of a year’s standing.”

“If he loved with all the powers of his puny being, he couldn’t love as much in eighty years as I could in a day.”

“I have not broken your heart — you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.”

“My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.”

“I gave him my heart, and he took and pinched it to death; and flung it back to me. People feel with their hearts … and since he has destroyed mine, I have not power to feel for him.”

“She burned too bright for this world.”

emily bronte

You might also like: No coward soul is mine: 5 Poems by Emily Brontë

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