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Wuthering Heights

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Describe how Emily Bronte presents the character of Heathcliff in "Wuthering heights". Pay close attention to chapter 9 and chapter 15. In this essay I shall be describing how Emily Bronte presents the character of Heathcliff in the well known novel of 'Wuthering heights'. Wuthering heights is set in the early 1800's in the Yorkshire Moore's. The story follows the life of Heathcliff from his adoption from the streets of Liverpool by Mr Earnshaw. Heathcliff's childhood was not very stable as he is blighted by bullying from Mr Earnshaw's son, Hindley. This may be partly the reason behind his cruel manner. In the period which Wuthering heights was set England was under the reign of Queen Victoria. Wuthering heights is written by a woman called Emily Bronte this novel is very much influenced by Emily Bronte's up-bringing. Emily Bronte grew up in the last days of rural England in the Yorkshire moors this has left its mark on the Bronte children, Emily, Charlotte, Patrick branwell, Maria, Elizabeth and Anne. Another influence on Bronte's writing was Tabitha Ankroyd, a maid in their household who told stories about fairies and ghosts. These folk beliefs and rituals are scattered through Wuthering heights for example after Catherine's death she returns to Wuthering heights as a ghost and Heathcliff is always referring back to haunting's. ...read more.


death ends the book this engages us to understand him and his motivation, Heathcliff makes it difficult to be understood and the reader finds it hard to resist seeing what they want or expect to see however the novel suggests that this cruelty is a result of a was to express his frustrated love for Catherine. However high our hopes are for Heathcliff to reform he shows he has only a desire for revenge against Hindley, Catherine, Edgar and others. Emily Bronte tests the reader to how much of Heathcliff's violence and cruelty they can come to terms with and still insist on him as a romantic hero. It is significant that Heathcliff begins his life as a homeless orphan on the streets of Liverpool when Emily composed her book in 1840's this was when the English economy was severely depressed the reader may easily sympathise with him and when he is powerless and as a child bullied by Hindley, but then he becomes a villain when he acquires power and returns to Wuthering heights with money. Considering the historical context Heathcliff seems to have the anxieties that the books upper and middle class audience had about working classes. ...read more.


This has caused him to become the vengeful man has was. Heathcliff has many undesirable traits but I believe his past has played a big part in this. Although Heathcliff is a villain in this novel, at times the readers feel sympathetic towards him. For Example In chapter 15 Cathy begs Heathcliff to forgive her as she denied her heart and married Linton leaving Heathcliff alone Heathcliff visits as Cathy is dying from again a disease similar to TB in this chapter Heathcliff tells Cathy how he feels which helps the reader slightly to see why he is being so cruel as he is heartbroken He Says; "'You teach me now how cruel you've been - cruel and false. WHY did you despise me? WHY did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself." This makes us feel some sympathy towards Heathcliff. "You loved me - then what RIGHT had you to leave me? What right - answer me - for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, YOU, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart - YOU have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine". Jenni Heaton ...read more.

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