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What impression of Heathcliff emerges in The opening chapters of "Wuthering Heights"?

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Introduction

What impression of Heathcliff emerges in The opening chapters of "Wuthering Heights"? Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" is a novel set in the 19th century in the middle of the Yorkshire moors. The word "Wuthering" is a local word which is used to describe the "stormy weather" and the "atmospheric tumult". The owner of "Wuthering Heights" is Heathcliff, who is described by the narrator, Lockwood, as being "a capital fellow". In the opening chapter, we as a reader, do not really learn much about Heathcliff as there is very little description about him, therefore, we tend to rely on what the narrator is telling us. Heathcliff is described as having "black eyes" which "withdraw so suspiciously"; this leaves us with a negative and anxious impression of the character, making the reader assume that Lockwood is an unreliable narrator. The "black eyes" are characteristics which we stereotype, as the colour "black" portrays an evil and menacing image. Also by withdrawing his eyes so suspiciously, we can predict that Heathcliff does not make a lot of eye contact; this may be because he is a cold character or he may a secret which could be given away by giving eye contact to Lockwood. Eye contact tends to suggest that two people are familiar with each other, or are willing to become familiar, however as Heathcliff's eyes "withdraw" an unwilling and distant impression begins to emerge. ...read more.

Middle

An example of Heathcliff keeping people away from the Heights would be the way he behaves towards Lockwood, as he does not attempt to be nice to him or to be welcoming. Evidence to show that Heathcliff is like the wind is "power of the north wind"; this is suggesting that the "wind" is so powerful that it keeps people from going to the moors, where it is windier. Heathcliff keeps visitors away from the moors because of his cruel nature, just as the wind does. The natural world at "Wuthering Heights" helps Heathcliff's character emerge as it is so alike him, therefore as a reader we can establish a "cold" and "misty" impression. The architecture of "Wuthering Heights" helps us to create an impression of Heathcliff as the way it is described is similar to Heathcliff's character. The house is described as having "narrow windows" this suggests that there is very little light inside and that it is dark and dismal. If a place is light, it tends to be a pleasant place to be and so if "Wuthering Heights" is dark, a reader would assume that it is not a pleasant place to be. The windows mirror Heathcliff because the light represents warmth and if the inside of the house does not have much light or warmth then it is likely that the owner does not either. ...read more.

Conclusion

As a reader we understand that Heathcliff is forceful because he too demands Lockwood to "walk in". Another impression which we can gain about the character of Heathcliff is that he is sour and forceful; this impression is taken from the personalities of the people around him. In the opening chapter Lockwood contradicts himself, by describing that he "no longer felt inclined to call Heathcliff a capital fellow". This is quite important in the chapter, as not only have the readers gained an understanding of the character Heathcliff, but so have the characters in the novel. Therefore, as a reader we assume that our judgement of the character must be correct as it is being confirmed by the narrator. Overall I think that the impressions Emily Bronte has tried to create of Heathcliff, which emerges in the opening chapter of "Wuthering Heights" is that he is unwilling to assist his guest, he is antisocial as he is reluctant to speak with Lockwood, who is making an effort. Heathcliff is also isolated as he lives almost on his own, and is described as being a "solitary neighbour". Heathcliff is also bitter and cold which a reader can relate to from the weather and description of "Wuthering Heights. However, I feel that the impression which emerges from the opening chapter of the novel, "Wuthering Heights", which best describes the character of Heathcliff is that he is rude and unpleasant. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ayla Hunter ...read more.

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