The Ghostly Presence in Wuthering Heights and Great Expectations

The presence of ghosts and the unknown was prominent in Wuthering Heights. Evidently, Heathcliff claimed to have numerous encounters with the ghost of Catherine and believed her to really be haunting him, which is what he requested of her right before she died. In popular culture, ghosts are usually perceived to be scary, and being haunted by one is never something that someone requests. Well, Heathcliff did request this of Catherine because of his attachment to her and his need to feel her presence. Notably, Catherine’s spiritual presence provided Heathcliff immense comfort and during one of his encounters with her he recalled, “a sudden sense of relief flowed from my heart through every limb. I relinquished my labour of agony, and turned consoled at once: unspeakably consoled. Her presence was with me: it remained while I re-filled the grave, and led me home” (59). Similarly, a ghost becomes present and witnessed by Pip in Great Expectations. Conversely, we do not know the name of the ghost and its relation, if any, to any of the characters yet. While Heathcliff was comforted by Catherine’s ghost, Pip was observed to be scared by the ghost because Estella witnessed this and asked him, “are you scared again?” We’ll have to see if this ghostly presence becomes more significant in the upcoming chapters of Great Expectations and if its identity is revealed to be significant to any of the characters.

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