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

How does Heathcliff's character develop

Extracts from this document...


How does Heathcliff's character develop through "Wuthering Heights"? Heathcliff is a character who is ever present in "Wuthering Heights" and throughout the novel his character changes. At first he is a poor, homeless child, then he becomes a loved and neglected victim, then he is a degraded lover, and finally he transforms into a vicious, lonely master. Heathcliff is introduced into the novel as a homeless child. He is a '"dirty, ragged, black-haired child"' who Mr. Earnshaw brings to Wuthering Heights from Liverpool. He is constantly referred to as 'it' and a 'gypsy'. His wife, Mrs. Earnshaw, is furious that Heathcliff has been brought into the house and the Earnshaws' son, Hindley, is jealous of the apparent love his father is giving Heathcliff. Hindley therefore beats up and bullies Heathcliff throughout his childhood, especially when he becomes master of the Heights when Mr. Earnshaw dies: '...reminded him to order Heathcliff a flogging'. This shows that Heathcliff has been transformed from a poor, homeless child into a neglected victim. However, Mr. Earnshaw treats Heathcliff with more love than his other children: '...and petting him up far above Cathy' This shows that Heathcliff is loved by Mr. Earnshaw but also neglected by Hindley and Mrs. Earnshaw. It is because of Mr. Earnshaw's love for Heathcliff that Hindley gets jealous and abuses him. However, Heathcliff doesn't really react to Hindley's abuse, because he doesn't cry or complain and just gets up and carries on. ...read more.


He banishes Heathcliff, the story teller Nelly and Joseph to the servants' quarters. Cathy is disgusted that Heathcliff has been degraded so Heathcliff and her go and spy on Thrushcross Grange to see if another family, the Lintons, live as miserably. Cathy is bitten by one of the guard dogs and has to stay at the Grange to recover. After much struggle, Heathcliff is sent back to the Heights to wait for her: '"I refused to go without Cathy"'. This shows that Heathcliff really cares for Cathy. As Cathy showed Heathcliff love by helping him rebel against Hindley, Heathcliff shows Cathy love by being worried about her, and as their relationship develops, Heathcliff's character is transformed from a neglected victim into a degraded lover and then to a vicious, lonely master. After Cathy comes back from the Grange, her character is transformed into a well-mannered lady. During the time she was away, Heathcliff had been in deep neglect. Cathy laughs at his dirtiness, which angers him. However, she still loves Heathcliff and sneaks off to meet him, despite her brother's refusal: 'Instead of finding her outside, I heard her voice within'. This shows that Cathy still loves Heathcliff, even though her character has changed. However, she also feels a bit of love for Edgar, mainly because of his beauty, his money and high status. Heathcliff is poor and low in status, and says he wants to look like Edgar Linton so he can match up with Cathy's beauty: '"I wish I had light hair and a fair skin"'. ...read more.


However, she does not see Heathcliff, because Lockwood, the person Nelly is telling the story to, stops her from coming in. Heathcliff is enraged by this. He tells Lockwood to go. Heathcliff has successfully altered his character to a vicious, lonely master. He is vicious because he abuses others, is lonely because his love Cathy has died and is a master because he gains both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. He has also grown greedy, by claming the Heights and the Grange. He even prepares his son' death before he has died, which shows that he doesn't care about Linton. As the novel nears the end, Heathcliff starts to lose control. Hareton, Hindley's son, was degraded into a servant by Heathcliff. He usually obeys him, but when small Cathy asks him to pick some flowers, he does it. Heathcliff is angry by this: '"And who ordered you to obey her?"' This shows that Heathcliff is losing control. However, he also feels he has won everything and has nothing left worth fighting for. He dies soon after, drenching himself in the rain. However, he leaves an exulting face: '...life-like gaze of exultation'. This shows that Heathcliff has left thinking he has won. He has left to be with Catherine, and the ghosts of them are spotted together, finally: "They's Heathcliff and a woman, yonder". Heathcliff is a character in "Wuthering Heights" whose character has altered tremendously and in turn altered so many others. This is due both to the other characters either showing him love or showing him hate and his own personality. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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 what extent do we feel sympathy towards the character of Heathcliff?

    He comments to Catherine-; 'I would have died by witches before I would have touched a single hair of his head.' When hearing of Catherine's illness, he exclaims-; 'Existence after loosing her would be hell.' Even though she has another husband and left him for the sophistication of Thrushcross Grange

  2. Wuthering Heights - Character Analysis

    Young Linton, Heathcliff true and only son from Isabella was a complete opposite from his father. He was fairly educated, but had a very weak character and was more serene, for what Heathcliff despised him. Heathcliff could not bare the fact that his only son was not a tough man,


    But when Cathy stopped, and burst into a laugh because he was very dirty Heathcliff was very insulted and confused by the change in Cathy. Cathy's return created a huge surge of confidence in the new master of Wuthering Heights.

  2. Discuss the character of Catherine Earnshaw and your reaction to her and her importance ...

    She is not buried in the chapel with the Linton's. Nor is her coffin buried among the graves of the Earnshaws. Instead, as Nelly describes in Chapter 16, Catherine is buried 'in a corner of the kirkyard, where the wall is so low that heath and bilberry plants have climbed over it from the moor'.

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

    I waited behind her chair, and was pained to behold Catherine, with dry eyes and an indifferent air, commence cutting up the wing of a goose before her. "An unfeeling child," I thought to myself; "how lightly she dismisses her old playmate's troubles.

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

    in anger puts a wire mesh over a birds nest, killing the chicks. This is surprising because he is very close to nature, but he doesn't believe there is any point them being alive without Catherine. This gives an insight into what Heathcliff himself feels without Catherine: he tells her

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

    He is brutal to Cathy because he sees her as the cause of Catherine's death, "his happiest days were over when your days began. He cursed you, I dare say, for coming into the world, (I did, at least)." He is also hell bent on hurting Cathy because it is

  2. With reference to Emily Bronte's characterisation of Cathy and Heathcliff, discuss whom you may ...

    Even though Catherine grows to love him, Hindley becomes more and more abusive towards him as Heathcliff is quickly becoming the household's favourite. Heathcliff however, defies being understood, and it is difficult for the readers to resist seeing what they want or expect to see in him.

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