Emily Bronte, author of Wuthering Heights, points out her most imminent theme, revenge, throughout the whole novel. The theme revenge is what leads all the characters to their fate. Throughout the whole novel, Bronte shows how eternal vengeance will lead to no idyllic life in the end.
From the very beginning, Hindley had started the revenge cycle by mistreating and abusing the little orphan, Heathcliff. He was the young man of the house and was selfish of his father, Mr. Earnshall’s, love for Heathcliff. Heathcliff swears after Hindley locks him in the attic, “I’m trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back. I don’t care how long I wait, if I can only do it at last. I hope he will not die before I do” (52; ch. 7). Revenge is one of the emotions that set him up with a reason to live. Hindley’s little son, Hareton will be a proxy for Hindley; he will break Heathcliff’s vengeance by demonstrating his love for Catherine.
Basically, the only time the main character, Heathcliff, was truly happy was when he gave up his vengeance. He holds a strong grudge against Hindley and the Lintons; he shows a powerful hatred and revenge when he lifted little Hareton onto the table by muttering with gusto: “Now, my bonny lad, you are mine! And we’ll see if one tree won’t grow as crooked as another, with the same wind to twist it!” (161; ch. 17).
Austin O’Malley states “Revenge is like biting a dog that bit you” (O’malley 1). O’Malley’s quote reflects Heathcliff’s immature need to propagate agony in those who have offended him (Revenge).