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Heathcliff - The Cherubic Satan

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Introduction

Rusi Kolev English III 11/14/04 Heathcliff - The Cherubic Satan Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" reveals the tragic story of Heathcliff - a creature of good and evil. While his inner goodness is just passed onto him at his birth, Heathcliff's malevolence can be explained by the way he was treated early in his childhood. He is nothing more than a sweet person, brought up in an unfavorable environment, trying to find love and struggling for acceptance in a society he has never been part of. Heathcliff enters the world of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange as an innocent child and leaves as a manipulative and wicked beast. Mr. Earnshaw brings Heathcliff to Wuthering Heights in order to save a child from the harsh life on the streets and give him the warmth of home. However Heathcliff's troubles begin as soon as he is made a member of the family. Nobody else, except for old Mr. Earnshaw and Catherine sees his childish innocence and goodness and nobody else accepts him. Mrs. Earnshaw, narrow in her beliefs, considers the poor child an object and she hopes that "it would [miraculously] go away" (22) ...read more.

Middle

However it all changes when Mr. Earnshaw dies and Heathcliff is left alone in this world of hatred, racism and prejudice. Hindley, Joseph and the Lintons despise him, not because he has done something wrong, but because he is different. The unfortunate child grows up in an environment full of hatred and abasement, being loved by only one family member and one servant. Heathcliff's dark skin color is the center of many jokes and low-spirited, he quietly grows more and more evil. The unfortunate boy even gets "a tureen of hot apple sauce" (46) dashed at his face, just because he has dressed nice and is trying to fit in. Seeing that he can not be accepted in this society and he can not be together with Catherine, because he is poor, Heathcliff does the only thing left for him to do - he leaves. Heathcliff flees away, hoping this new life will bring him the money and the importance necessary in order to become a valued member of the small Wuthering Heights' world. Heathcliff's beliefs and instincts tell him these elements are the key to happiness. ...read more.

Conclusion

However the reader realizes that the new owner has taken his actions one step further, because he has also managed to destroy the lives of some innocent people like Hareton, Linton and Cathy who were born one generation after him and they really have had no bad influence on Heathcliff. This is where Emily Bronte brings the theme, that Heathcliff does not just pay back, but he actually "turns into Satan" making innocent, poor souls suffer, the way he suffered when he was new in the community and had done nothing wrong. Heathcliff experiences many unpleasant moments during his life at Wuthering Heights. He starts off as a sweet child, craving for family love, grows up as a boy looking for love, acceptance and understanding and dies as a miserable creature made of evil. In the beginning his body and soul are full of goodness, but as the story progresses, his character becomes more and more evil as a result of all the interactions he has with the inhabitants of Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. Even though Heathcliff dies depressed and lonely, his life serves as an example that people are naturally good and they turn cruel and evil only when they are rejected by, mocked by and hated by the society they are in. ...read more.

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