Revenge Is Not so Sweet

Both Miss Havisham from Great Expectations and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights conspire their own plans for revenge on certain people in their lives because of their past traumas. Heathcliff plans to take revenge on numerous characters; he takes revenge on Catherine for causing him pain with choosing Edgar over him and decides to marry Isabella to cause her pain. Additionally, he uses Hareton for revenge by treating him just as badly as Hindley treated him. In comparison, Miss. Havisham plans for revenge on all men because of her being stood up at the alter by a man was never planning to marry her and broke her heart. Instead of carrying out her means of revenge herself, she does it through Estella by conditioning her to be heartless and cold in order to break men’s hearts like Pip. Both these tales of revenge don’t end with justice for the characters who are using revenge as a means to cope with their traumas; simply, the revenge plans they have just end in more heartache and disappointment with no real winners in the end. Eventually, Heathcliff gives up with his plan and decides to stop eating to end up slowly killing himself. Conversely, Miss Havisham thought she would feel more satisfied with breaking Pip’s heart and taunting him with Estella, but eventually just feels pity for him and repeats, “what have I done!” over and over agin. Thus, she doesn’t feel as accomplished with her plan as she thought. Henceforth, revenge doesn’t work out well in the end for these characters and reflects the idea that while revenge may seem like a just method to deal with bad experiences, it just ends with more disappointment, heartache, and regret.

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