• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Consider How Emily Bronte Portrays Heathcliff and Cathy in Wuthering Heights.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Consider How Emily Bronte Portrays Heathcliff and Cathy in Wuthering Heights Cathy and Heathcliff are both curious characters, as is their relationship with each other and the way that Emily Bront� portrays them is vital to the plot. Unlike Cathy we know very little at all about Heathcliff's origins, which is exactly what Emily Bront� wanted. On a trip to Liverpool, Cathy's father Mr Earnshaw finds Heathcliff "starving, houseless and as good as dumb" and as no one on his travels lays claim to its' ownership he decides, being a benevolent soul, that he must take it home. To realise the significance of this we must take into account the historical context. At that time Liverpool was the major dock for the whole of the country with goods being imported and exported and ships and people arriving all the time. Any immigrants coming to Britain would arrive here and so there is little doubt that Heathcliff is not of English birth, as Nelly comments that he spoke "some gibberish that nobody could understand". He may have arrived from Ireland or Scotland as the language spoken there at this time was Gaelic. It has also been muted that he could actually have been black, and arrived from foreign climates, however these are purely assumptions none of which can be proved. Heathcliff is described by Mr Lockwood on his first visit to the heights as "a dark skinned gypsy in aspect". This links back to the fact that we have no idea of Heathcliff's past, so he could well be a gypsy, his origins are unknown which makes him mysterious and somewhat intriguing. ...read more.

Middle

She says "My love for Linton is like the foliage in the trees, time will change it I'm well aware as the winter changes the trees- my love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath." In this way she infers that her love for Heathcliff is solid and time will never change it. This link to the natural world reinforces the idea that Cathy' s love for Heathcliff is a natural thing We can gain some insight into the revengeful nature of Heathcliff if we look at one of his conversations with Nelly in chapter six. "not if I might have the privilege of throwing Joseph off the highest gable or painting the housefront with Hindleys blood." This is a chilling speech because it is not said in a fit of temper or in heated row, as when a person might say "I'd like to kill you". It is far more cold and calculated, which makes it far less forgivable as he is not saying it on impulse but as if he given careful consideration as to how he would kill them. This is reinforced again in chapter seven when he says to Nelly, she is the person that he can confide in, "I'm trying to settle how I shall pay Hindley back. I don't care how long I wait just so long as I can do it at last." This is more alarming even than the first speech and shows a truly evil side to Heathcliff's personality. ...read more.

Conclusion

She is also quite self obsessed, Nelly concludes this after seeing "how lightly she dismisses her old playmates troubles. I could not have imagined her to be so selfish." She therefore deems her to be an unfeeling child. Cathy does not improve as she grows up. Whilst married to Edgar Linton and living with him and his sister Isabella, she exclaims: "You are a dog in the manger Cathy and desire no one to be loved but yourself!" This is not entirely untrue, as Cathy loves to be the centre of attention and is not past sulking even at this age to get her own way. This is reflected by her foolish reaction when she says to Nelly after a fight in which Edgar has finally stood up to her, "I'll try to break their hearts by breaking their own". She demonstrates in this speech that she is no more than a spoilt girl, who craves love and adoration from all around her and will stop at nothing to get her own way. In some ways Cathy and Heathcliff are very similar. For instance in their ruthlessness to gain what they desire, and how they are both responsible for their own miseries whilst they blame them entirely on others. I believe that through these characters Emily Bronte wanted to portray love of a different type to that in other books published in this era. And the way she chooses to illustrate the characters, is I believe a challenge to the way that women were perceived in society at that time and to challenge commonly held attitudes and beliefs, towards love, trust and human nature. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Emily Bronte section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Emily Bronte essays

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird and Wuthering Heights Comparison,

    Mrs Dubose as a character represents the towns moral and values. She like the town is old and withering, she has a blatant racist side and a small-minded self-assurance, which stops any chance of change. Although she was raised this way so she cannot help it.

  2. Compare the Presentation of the Characters of Rochesterin "Jane Eyre" and Heathcliff in "WutheringHeights".

    Heathcliff's almost inhuman love for Catherine is all consuming and passionate, "I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" This brings in the element of the supernatural, as he is a tormented spirit without Catherine to sustain his life with normal function.

  1. Discuss the portrayal of Heathcliff and Hareton Earnshaw in 'WutheringHeights'. Are they products of ...

    If he was not an orphan Heathcliff wouldn't have been singled out to such an extent; if he hadn't been degraded so much by Hindley Catherine wouldn't have rejected his love on grounds of social status: throughout his life Heathcliff is rejected by those around him, be it Mrs.

  2. Wuthering Heights - In "Wuthering Heights" Emily Bronte explores the good and evil that ...

    Literary techniques such as "frighten child into fits" sends shivers through your spine, and you as the reader wants Hareton to be ok and dislike Hindley. However, not all is evil in this event, we see an episode of kindness from a character, which is in fact usual torturer Heathcliff.

  1. What are your impressions of Catherine Earnshaw, Heathcliff and Edgar Linton? Consider the way ...

    He claims that he sees no wrong in being dirty: "I shall be as dirty as I please: and I like to be dirty, and I will be dirty," although I think that he is generally concerned that Catherine might think worse if him since she had become a 'lady'.

  2. Trace the theme of madness and supernatural in Emily Bront->'s "Wuthering Heights".

    She tries to explain how different the two worlds are in spite of being so close to each other through the character of Lockwood in the novel. Lockwood represents the genteel and well-mannered Victorian society that is so shocked at the roughness and violence of the moors, represented by Heathcliff.

  1. In chapter 15 Nelly says "Far better that she should be dead than lingering ...

    This quote also shows that she has some control over her health. On the other hand she is not always malicious, sometimes she is unknowing of the pain she causes.

  2. Refer to chapter one of Wuthering Heights and comment on how Emily Brontë introduces ...

    He said. 'It is in danger of splitting its skull against my knuckles.' This use of cutting between the two contrasting dictions makes the reader feel they are being raised to a false sense of occasion only of course to be brought brutally back to earth with a blunt and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work