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Wuthering Heights Essay - Is Heathcliff truly evil?

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Robinn Walsh English Mrs Elgenia Wuthering Heights Essay - Is Heathcliff truly evil? I think with the modern understanding of the way childhood affects one's whole perception of life and the world, we would be arrogant to call Heathcliff evil. Without a doubt Heathcliff is an anomaly. Lockwood initially describes him as "a dark skinned gypsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman". The first view we have of heathcliff is as dark, handsome, gentlemanly and morose. These qualities, coupled with his 'Lord of the manner' apparel may invoke in the reader popular evil characters such as 'Count Dracula'. We must investigate deeper the moody and mysterious Heatchliff in order to answer our question. ...read more.


Eventually degraded and abused by Hindley and after having heard Catherine express to her maid that "it would degrade her to marry him", he runs away. We can only imagine how during the following years he must have brooded and obsessed; hating his lowly station ;( he didn't even have a surname, which must have served to reinforce his sense of powerlessness in society). He had shared a wild and passionate love that Catherine had described as resembling "eternal rocks beneath" and she talked of Heathcliff as "my own being". He must have felt a deep resentment that this had been taken away from him. As modern readers we tolerate and understand far the heights and depths of emotions can reach. ...read more.


She does not want him to leave even when Edgar comes in. She dies, and there is lost, a curiously innocent but violent love between them. Heathcliff's behaviour thereafter shows all the traits of the modern psychotic obsessive in many horror/chillers. For instance, in the way he forces his son and Catherine's daughter to re-enact his own destructive love, and how he encourages his son Linton to bully Hareton. Heathcliff, a tragic, vulnerable and abused child growing up against a backdrop of harshness and cruelty , i.e. the rugged heath, the vicious Hindley, his sense of being a nobody , his uncontrollable dependence on Catherine, resulted in a bitter, violent, cruel and unforgiving figure, but in answer to our question, could we really say "evil"?. ...read more.

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