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Discuss how Emily Bront portrays the character of Heathcliff, describe his relations with the other characters and how he relates to the Victorian period.

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Introduction

Discuss how Emily Bront� portrays the character of Heathcliff, describe his relations with the other characters and how he relates to the Victorian period. Wuthering Heights is to be the only known novel to be written by Emily Bront�. She was one of many writers about during the mid to late 19C period which we call the Victorian period. Most novelists of the time - Charles Dickens, Mrs Gaskell and Emily Bronte's own sisters Anne and Charlotte for example, wrote with the aim of expressing an idea or proclaiming a message about the aspect of the society of their time. They achieved this by presenting a picture of injustice, perhaps, or by criticising institutions such as the education and legal system of the time. Their novels often present a wide range of characters, scenes and plot situations, which in effect, cancels out a pinpoint within their novels as it goes in many directions, only to close in at the end to one moral or meaning. However, these aspects are not true for the book "Wuthering Heights". It stands out, by itself, restricting to a small, select number of characters, in just a couple of settings. It doesn't directly symbolize a message about the Victorian period or Bront�'s life, but focuses upon relations and emotion which are present to human life: love, grief, betrayal, jealousy, revenge and defiance are all examples found within her work. To critics of the Victorian period, it was considered odd, unpleasant and slightly mad "a nightmare/one of the most repellent books we've ever read/the weirdest story in the English Language", yet time ...read more.

Middle

I hope he will not die before I do." and their heirs as well as captivating Catherine's love Heathcliff's love is almost an obsession. His undying love for Catherine which is more of a twin's than a lover's becomes all-enveloping as the story goes on. We expect Heathcliff's character to contain such a hidden virtue due to the fact that he resembles a hero in a romantic novel. Traditionally, romantic novel heroes appear dangerous, brooding and cold at first, to only later transform into a devoted and loving person. About 100 years or so before Bront� was born, the notion that a "reformed rake makes the best husband" was already the clich� of love stories and they centre around the same clich� today. However, Heathcliff doesn't "reform" and his malevolence proves so great and long - lasting that it cannot be adequately explained even as a desire for revenge against Hindley, and the Linton family for causing him such misery throughout his life. Hindley Earnshaw is Catherine's brother and Heathcliff's other rival; having loathed Heathcliff since childhood because Mr. Earnshaw loved Heathcliff more than his own son, Hindley delights himself in turning Heathcliff into a downtrodden servant upon inheriting Wuthering Heights. However, his wife Francis' death from childbirth to Hareton Earnshaw destroys him. He becomes a self-destructive alcoholic and gambler, and it is this that allows Heathcliff, upon returning to Wuthering Heights, to turn the tables and to swindle the property away from him. Hareton Earnshaw is adopted by Heathcliff upon Hindley's death later in the book. ...read more.

Conclusion

. . In every cloud, in every tree-filling the air at night, and caught by glimpses in every object by day, I am surrounded with her image!" He tells Nelly that he stood on the threshold of hell but now has reached sight of heaven. He also insists that he be left alone - he wants to have Wuthering Heights to himself. Soon, Nelly finds him dead. She tells Lockwood that he has since been buried, and that young Catherine and Hareton shall soon marry. They will wed on New Year's Day and move to Thrushcross Grange. Heathcliff is buried alongside Cathy and at the end of the book the reader is given the idea that Nelly sees the two ghosts of them together on the boggy moors, yet she shakes it off as just part of her imagination... We see, as the reader that it is exceedingly easy to misinterpret Heathcliff's complex character as of course he will "hate and love undercover" and that will defy any understanding of him, to anyone, even the characters as he has complete opposites for emotion. He will either love or hate; nothing in between. The only thing keeping his undying hatred for those around him was that one extraordinary person, Cathy, when she died, his body died too as she "is Heathcliff". She "calls him and he follows her out to the moors", and the similarity between our own position and Lockwood's becomes a warning to us all. We, too should question our instincts and not judge people by their cover..."goodbye, Heathcliff, goodbye my sweet Cathy." ...read more.

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