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How Does Bront's use of Setting Help us to Understand Heathcliff in the First Half of the Novel?

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Introduction

How Does Bront�'s use of Setting Help us to Understand Heathcliff in the First Half of the Novel? Wuthering Heights is the story of the love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff. The story is set in the nineteenth century on the Yorkshire moors. The story takes place on the Yorkshire moors and in two contrasting houses, Wuthering Heights, the home of the Earnshaw's and Heathcliff and Thrushcross Grange, the home of the Linton's. It is a story of love, hate and passion. It could also be seen as a ghost story, as there are elements of a gothic ghost story in the novel. We learn much about Heathcliff in the novel from Bront�'s us of setting, metaphors and irony. These techniques create a lot tension in the novel. From the beginning of the novel the setting is established. 'Yesterday afternoon set in misty and cold.' This reference in chapter two could reflect both the novel and Heathcliff being dark and cold. In this chapter Mr. Lockwood visits Wuthering Heights in 'the thick of a snow storm'. Mr. Lockwood describes Wuthering Heights with an 'immense fire' that 'glowed delightfully'. ...read more.

Middle

Nelly tells us that ' from the very beginning, he bred bad feeling in the house'. When Heathcliff first arrives at Wuthering Heights it is only Mr. Earnshaw that really likes Heathcliff. Mrs. Earnshaw doesn't want him in the house. Hindley beats him and also Nelly doesn't like him at first. Heathcliff ' would stand Hindley's blows without winking or shedding a tear, and my pinches moved him only to draw in a breath.' Although Heathcliff is only a young boy in a strange house and is bullied by the other children, he does not shed a tear. Only after Earnshaw's death, does Heathcliff's relationship with Cathy start to develop. They both like to walk and play on the moors. They both ' promised to grow up as rude as savages'. Heathcliff and Cathy play on the moors to escape from the prison that is Wuthering Heights. In chapter six they escape to Thrushcross Grange, the home of Edgar and Isabella Linton. Heathcliff describes it as a 'splendid place carpeted with crimson, and crimson covered chairs and tables and a pure white ceiling bordered'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Catherine is upset that Isabella is at Wuthering Heights. This is ironic because Isabella does not want to be there at all. Isabella calls Heathcliff a 'monster' and says he is 'not human.' Isabella tells Nelly that Heathcliff only married her to 'obtain power' over Edgar. Isabella would 'die first.' Catherine tells Heathcliff 'you have killed me'. Heathcliff says 'why did you betray your own heart Cathy'. He means why did she choose Linton when really it was him that she truly loved. Heathcliff tells Cathy that 'you have killed yourself', ... 'you loved me - then what right had you to leave me. Catherine forgives Heathcliff for everything. The final speech between Heathcliff and Catherine is very important. It shows the immense love between the two. Catherine finally dies and Nelly tells Heathcliff. He responds with, ' Catherine Earnshaw may you not rest in peace as long as I am living! You said I killed you - haunt me, then!' Heathcliff just wants to see Cathy again. 'I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul' Cathy is Heathcliff's life and soul. He cannot live without her. We see this when he dies in chapter thirty-four after starving himself of food and sleep. Chris Silcocks ...read more.

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