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Wuthering Heights Coursework. I will be exploring Emily Brontes presentation of the characters of Heathcliff, considering the commentary she should be making about Victorian society.

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Introduction

Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte was the author or 'Wuthering Heights' written in 1847. Due to the social standards of the 17th century, the book was published under the name of Ellis Bell as writing was not considered a suitable occupation for a woman. 'Wuthering Heights' is about two different families, the Linton's and the Earnshaw's, and narrated by Nelly the interfering house keeper and Mr Lockwood. They tell the story of the main characters Cathy and Heathcliff and show how she chooses to marry Linton as this would have been society's choice at the time as he is handsome and rich. However she realises she made the wrong choice and we see how Heathcliff and Cathy's love for each other leads to death. In this essay I will be exploring Emily Bronte's presentation of the characters of Heathcliff, considering the commentary she should be making about Victorian society. Emily Bronte was born in 1818 and was the 5th of 6 children. Two of her elder siblings along with her mother unfortunately died when Emily was still very young. This clearly influenced her novels as we regularly see death imagery and dead people. ...read more.

Middle

Also trees are constantly changing so she can never always be happy. She describes her love for Heathcliff as "the eternal rocks beneath" This shows her love for him will never change and will be with her for eternity. Her description for both of them is natural imagery which would link into romanticism. Catherine is most passionate for her love with Heathcliff. When Cathy rejects Heathcliff she says" It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff" At this point Heathcliff is still listening but when he hears this he runs away for 3 years. He doesn't hear the good stuff Cathy says about him after. Cathy chooses Edgar over Heathcliffe due to the social standards of the time would make it the right choice. It would "degrade" her to marry Heathcliff as woman had to marry into money and Heathcliff has none. This also makes him a victim of social prejudice. When Catherine dies Heathcliff wounded response is very animalistic. "He dashed his head against the knotted trunk, and, lifting his eyes, howled, not like a man, but a savage beast." a quote taken from Nelly shows him as being very beast like. ...read more.

Conclusion

This would make the reader sympathise for him as it shows him just trying to make himself a higher status just to prove he is worthy. I think overall Heathcliff is a fiend from hell. He treats most people badly even if they have done nothing wrong. He doesn't care about anyone but himself and Catherine. However, this could be because Catherine was the only one to treat him respectively from the start but this doesn't explain his actions towards people who have never done anything wrong to him like Hareton and Isabella's dog. Even though he is a fiend from hell, I believe he is only this way because of how he has been brought up and been treated. I think this because when Nelly says he catches Hareton like a "natural impulse" it shows that he is deep down a nice person. If he wasn't treated badly all his life, he would know not to treat others badly. I also believe that because he never did anything wrong at the beginning and people still treated him as a victim of social standards, is the reason that he thinks he can treat people that way to. So overall I believe he is a fiend from hell but he was made to be this way so he is also the victim. ...read more.

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