Quotes from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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, Emily 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 quotes from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë that reflect the passionate and tumultuous nature of its characters.

“I have dreamt 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. And this is one: I’m going to tell it – but take care not to smile at any 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. 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.”

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

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

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“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.”

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“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.”

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

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“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!”

. . . . . . . . . .

“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.”

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“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.”

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

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emily bronte

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

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“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.”


heathcliff and cathy comic from Hark! A Vagrant

Image from Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton


“I wish I were a girl again, half-savage and hardy, and free.”

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“Terror made me cruel …”

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“She burned too bright for this world.”

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“I have to remind myself to breathe — almost to remind my heart to beat!”

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“It was not the thorn bending to the honeysuckles, but the honeysuckles embracing the thorn.”

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“Honest people don’t hide their deeds.”

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

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“He wanted all to lie in an ecstasy of peace; I wanted all to sparkle and dance in a glorious jubilee. I said his heaven would be only half alive; and he said mine would be drunk: I said I should fall asleep in his; and he said he could not breathe in mine.”

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“Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both ends; they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies.”

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You know that I could as soon forget you as my existence!”

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“Time brought resignation and a melancholy sweeter than common joy.”

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“Because misery, and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will did it. I have no broken your heart – you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong.”

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“If I were in heaven, Nelly, I should be extremely miserable.” “Because you are not fit to go there,” I answered. “All sinners would be miserable in heaven.”

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“I pray every night that I may live after him; because I would rather be miserable than that he should be — that proves I love him better than myself.”

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“By this curious turn of disposition I have gained the reputation of deliberate heartlessness; how undeserved, I alone can appreciate.”

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Wuthering Heights cover

Emily Brontë page on Amazon


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