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Discuss the writer’s presentation of Villainy in ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘The Darkness out there’, by comparing the characterisation of Heathcliff and Mrs Rutter.

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Introduction

Discuss the writer's presentation of Villainy in 'Wuthering Heights' and 'The Darkness out there', by comparing the characterisation of Heathcliff and Mrs Rutter. What is a villain? The dictionary definition of a villain is 'A wicked or malevolent person'. In my opinion, this portrays Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights perfectly, as he is bent on seeking revenge on all those who hurt or did wrongful things to him in his childhood. However, at the beginning of 'Wuthering Heights' we see Heathcliff in a more perfect light, which indicates that he is not a villain at all. Mrs Rutter, from The Darkness out there, however, is, in my opinion, a villain. In her past, she committed some wicked deeds, such as allowing a young German fighter pilot to die a slow, and presumably painful death. At the time that she did this, it may have been more understandable to commit such a deed on 'one of them'. I also think that part of the reason that she did this is the fact that her husband had been killed as a pilot in the war as well, and, like Heathcliff she may have been seeking revenge for her dead husband. ...read more.

Middle

Also, he acts the way that he does, mainly because of all the times that he was abused in his childhood, and I feel that he is hell bent on seeking revenge on all those who sinned against him. I think that this is a definitive characteristic of a villain, and I therefore classify Heathcliff as a stereotypical villain. Mrs Rutter is, however, a completely different case. She is almost the opposite of Heathcliff, because we are lured into a trap of believing that she is a harmless old woman who is receiving a bit of loving help from two young, keen children. She is made to seem like a jolly, harmless old woman, when Penelope Lively describes her 'Mrs Rutter's smiles folded into one another' and the fact that she is constantly complimenting them- 'I expect you're a nice strong boy, aren't you?' and 'You'll be courting before long yourself, I don't doubt. Like bees round the honey pot they'll be.' By using words and phrases like this, she is attempting to lure the reader into the trap that Mrs Rutter is a wonderful old woman, who has never done anything bad in her life. Then, she slowly begins to spill out her story, much to the disgust of the two young helpers. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is because of the way in which the two characters are written into the stories. I think that Mrs Rutter was intended to be a villain, as the words used to describe her indicate that she is a chummy, helpless old lady, who is generally relying on help from young people, whereas she is actually cold, callow, manipulative and nasty which is demonstrated by the evil thing she did in her past. She showed no remorse when recounting this to her audience. This means that Penelope Lively is brilliantly misleading the reader. Heathcliff however, is quite the opposite. Emily Bronte writes him into Wuthering Heights with a horrible childhood, for which he wishes to seek revenge, and he returns to Wuthering Heights as a snobbish, evil man. At first glance he fits the definition of a villain brilliantly. However he would do anything to protect Cathy, and this is proved when, at the end of the book, he kills himself for her. This proves to me that Heathcliff is not a villain, whereas the opposite is true for Mrs Rutter because the story does not suggest any kind of mental disorder. I also think that the two authors have succeeded in writing the two characters into the stories in the way that they intended. Matthew Collins ...read more.

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