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Look closely at pages 24-27 (Chapter 4). How does the language in this passage convey a sense of Heathcliff as and outsider?

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Introduction

Look closely at pages 24-27 (Chapter 4). How does the language in this passage convey a sense of Heathcliff as and outsider? 1. Look closely at the language and structure of the passage 2. How does this section influence our view of Heathcliff in the novel as a whole? Nelly begins her history of the Earnshaw's and the Linton's at Heathcliff's arrival at the Heights showing that the story will centre mainly on Heathcliff. The first impression of this hero is of a strange almost witch-type boy, who because of his history, the reactions of the Earnshaws towards him, and the reactions of him towards the Earnshaws can be perceived as an outsider. Nelly, whilst in the conversation with Lockwood that marks the transition between the two narrators, describes Heathcliff as a "cuckoo". This idea of Heathcliff not belonging to or with the Earnshaws is later backed up when Nelly tells us of Hindley's attitude towards his new brother and his father. She says that by the time of his mother's death, "the young master learnt to regard his father as an oppressor rather than a friend, and Heathcliff as a usurper of his father's affections and privileges", the word "usurper" echoing the earlier "cuckoo". ...read more.

Middle

Heathcliff's previous life where he was, "starving and houseless", and, "to not a soul knew to whom he belonged". Contrast between Heathcliff, and, Hindley and Catherine are made again this time in Mrs Earnshaws scolding of her husband, she refers to Heathcliff as a "gipsy brat" and her children as "their own bairns". The first reactions of the Earnshaws are to crowd round Heathcliff and peer at him as though they have never seen anything like him before. Nelly is frightened of this, "dirty, ragged, black haired child"; and refers to him as "it" rather than "he" emphasising that Nelly is not quite sure whether Heathcliff is human, an idea that will be built upon later on in the novel. Hindley is fourteen yet cries when he sees that Heathcliff replaces his ideal present and Catherine spits at him like an immature bully. This part of the book is when Mrs Earnshaw is shown to be the most sensible and rational character in the story. She shows dislike to Heathcliff and is ready to, "fling him out of doors" but is the only one that stops to think about why. ...read more.

Conclusion

Heathcliff can start to be seen as be a victim of bullying from the first moment he comes to Wuthering Heights as when Catherine realises that her present was forgotten by her father because of Heathcliff she spits at him, a form of abuse. Hindley punches Heathcliff and Nelly pinches him, showing again childlike physical violence; and Heathcliff like all victims remains silent about these attacks showing himself to be an outsider. The last line of this extract starts to show how Heathcliff will react to these early childhood traumas, "though hardness not gentleness made him give little trouble". This shows Heathcliff becoming an introvert, and suggests the harshness he shows to other people later on in the novel. The idea of him being an outsider also suggests the way he will die, as in the latter part of the novel he spends long periods out on the moors by himself, and doesn't like to be in the room with anyone. His status as an outsider in this extract also shows the way he will treat the younger Cathy and his own son when they are under his roof, as he sends them up to their bedrooms and frightens them to leaving the room whenever he joins them. ...read more.

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