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Wuthering Heights - To What Extent Can Heathcliff Be Described As a Traditional Villain?

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Introduction

TO WHAT EXTENT CAN HEATHCLIFF BE DESCRIBED AS A TRADITIONAL VILLAIN? A traditional villain in English literature can be described as a cruel, ruthless and a savage person. He behaves selfishly and deviously and hurts other just to get what he wants. Villains are very clever, manipulative and they are conniving. Others hate villains mainly because of their evil mind and their evil motives which are the centres of the plot. This fits in with Heathcliff's description well. But he cannot be condemned for everything. He was found on the streets of Liverpool at a very young age. Hindley degraded him and treated him as a slave at the beginning. Catherine let him down by getting married to Edgar. This influenced his mind and we see the evil side of Heathcliff. However, perhaps he can also be seen as a Romantic hero. A traditional Romantic hero can be defined as being moody and as a criminal. They have dark, physical good looks and are very mysterious sinners. They usually are wanders, exiled from their native land. They also gain sympathy from the reader and author. We can see from this description that Heathcliff can be possibly seen as a Romantic Hero. Villains are savage, ruthless people who commit many evil deeds, who care little for other people and who generally only think about themselves. Throughout "Wuthering Heights" Heathcliff's personality could be described as dark, menacing and spiteful. He is a dangerous character and his only purpose is to ruin others. ...read more.

Middle

"May she wake in torment? He cried, with a frightful vehemence stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion..." This is just barbaric. He forces young Cathy to marry Linton Heathcliff and keeps her from going back to the Grange to see her father Edgar who is really weak, poorly and is near to death. "You shall not leave Wuthering Heights till tomorrow". He beats young Cathy repeatedly when she tries to get the key even when she promises to marry Heathcliff's son Linton. "He seized her with the liberated hand, and pulling her on his knee with the other shower of terrific slaps on the side of her head, each sufficient to have a full filled his threat, had she been able to fall." Young Cathy is just like her mother Catherine who is fearless so she takes the pain and stays strong. Heathcliff decides to get wealth so he bribes Edgar's lawyer before he sees him, this is before he passes away. Edgar has called his lawyer so he can change his will. By changing his will Heathcliff wouldn't inherit the Grange or anything else from the Linton's. Heathcliff definitely doesn't want this to happen and he reacts in an evil manner. "He had sold him to Mr. Heathcliff: that was the cause of his delay in obeying my master's summons." We notice Heathcliff is a heartless person and gets what he wants by committing these evil deeds. He is also very manipulative and clever when he gambles with Hindley, He uses his mind and he knows Hindley is drunk so he will lose to hi and he will gain Wuthering Heights and all his possessions. ...read more.

Conclusion

Heathcliff had opened the trinket and cast out its contents, replacing them by a black lock of his own. I twisted the two, and enclosed them together," This also shows that he is a little jealous of Edgar, He curses Catherine after she dies so that she will haunt him and he would see her again This shows that he is desperate to see her and be reunited with her, but it also shows he is possibly a sinner. Seeing the qualities of a Romantic hero and how Heathcliff fits those descriptions this tell us that Heathcliff can possibly be see as a Romantic Hero. In my view after all Heathcliff has been through in his life I'm surprised to see that he has survived his life for that long. He stayed strong, used his wits, got his revenge and after his death he was reunited with his lover Catherine. I also feel sympathy towards Heathcliff as he never had shelter, friends, money etc. He was a poor orphan found on the streets. Some of the Earnshaw family judged him on his physicals looks. His past influenced his future to become a villainous person. My mind changed at the end of the novel when I see him more like a Romantic hero than a Villain. He deservers to be admired and such a great character the author has produced. This is one character devoted to love no matter how many steps it will take; he will still get what he wants. WUTHERING HEIGHTS ESSAY KALPESH PATEL ...read more.

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