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Wuthering Hieghts - Why does Heathcliff change so dramatically during the course of the story?

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ENGLISH COURSEWORK (PART TWO) WUTHERING HIEGHTS ESSAY ABOUT A PART OF THE STORY Why does Heathcliff change so dramatically during the course of the story? In this essay I'm going to explain the reasons why Heathcliff changes during the course of the story. Heathcliff changes from a person called "it" who's being beaten, to a man and an aggressive person. But at the end he changes again, he becomes distant and detached from the world around him. By "change" we mean how his personality, attitude and reactions towards others differs throughout the story. Now I have looked back over the whole story, there are two or three main and decisive reasons why Heathcliff's changed: his mistreatment by Hindley, Cathy's "degrading" speech making him leave, and his plans for revenge on the people who have treated him badly. Heathcliff was treated unfairly from the very beginning, by being called "it", but his treatment got worse when Hindley became master of the house, after Mr Earnshaw died. This may have been the first trigger to make Heathcliff change. Hindley and his persistent beating of Heathcliff helped this change. An example of this is when the two of them were in the stables when "Hindley put out his tongue, and cuffed him over the ears ". ...read more.


Heathcliff overhears Catherine's speech and runs away for three years. This speech may not have been so devastating for Heathcliff if he hadn't of missed Catherine's declaration of love for him afterwards. This changes him because he returns totally changed, this was possibly because his only dream was to be with Catherine, but this dream was shattered by her "degrading" speech, so perhaps he thought he would make a clean start. After three years of the story, and Cathy's marriage to Edgar, Heathcliff returns. Heathcliff is now almost the opposite of what he was three years ago. He is now well dressed, seems educated, rich, clean, whilst before he was scruffy, uneducated and dirty. So we see a complete contrast in his appearance but we are not told where he has been or where he has acquired his fortune. Heathcliff has a "deep voice", he was "tall", and his cheeks "were shallow". There was also another change, which is less obvious on his return but will soon be discovered. It is his mean personality and determined will for revenge which although was present in chapter seven is now even stronger and will do anything for his revenge. ...read more.


So we have seen three main changes in Heathcliff: from a scruffy boy, to a respectful but mean man, and then to the distant and detached person we see at the end of the book. I have discussed many reasons why Heathcliff might have changed but one more reason is that he was changed by the family and not by his own. Maybe he changed because of how he was treated while he was younger. But maybe Heathcliff never changed at all from the beginning of the story but we just kept seeing the different sides of Heathcliff and seeing Heathcliff in his true light. But this is not what I believe, I believe that Heathcliff did change in the story for many different reasons and that only one thing in Heathcliff stayed the same and this was indescribable love for Catherine. I believe his only true goal was to be with Catherine from the very beginning of the story but only realised this towards the end of the story. I believe Heathcliff realised he didn't want revenge for what other people had done to him but wanted revenge for what he had done to himself, which was losing Catherine. Ashley Akerman, 09/05/07 English coursework (part two)-Essay looking at one factor of the story ...read more.

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