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The Reasons for Heathcliffs Immoral Behavior

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The Reasons for Heathcliff?s Immoral Behavior ?Gift of God?(35). Mr. Earnshaw used this line to describe Heathcliff when he first brought him home. It is a common belief shared by many cultures, that children come into this world being pure and innocent thus, it is their surrounding in which they grow up that shapes their personality. This is what happened to Heathcliff. How could an innocent child turn into an immoral monster? Throughout the novel Wuthering Heights we witness Heathcliff committing acts of pure hatred and neglect. However, his acts should only be judged from the prospective of the circumstances that influenced his character, which are horrible childhood, constant mistreatment by others, and the betrayal of the true love of his life. Throughout his life on the level of his subconscious he kept feeling that he was being oppressed by the paradigm of the society. Heathcliff?s nasty behavior exhibited towards many other characters appearing in the book may be interpreted as an anxiety he kept experiencing throughout his life as a result horrible childhood. ...read more.


Hence, it can be concluded that the events of Heathcliff?s childhood greatly affected his behavior as an adult. Maybe Heathcliff?s childhood could have been different if not for the fact that he was quite different and unique. His physical appearance was contrasting from an average Englishman, for he looked like a gypsy. With his looks it was very hard from the start to fit in the community with very old and conservative views. The traditionalism of people surrounding him, not only in the house where he lived, but also in the village, prevented him from integrating into that society, which in a way caused him an emotional trauma. Heathcliff was ?dirty, ragged, black-haired child?(35) , which resulted in him being misjudged and mistreated. Nelly for example, had always been ?frightened? (35) and even Catherine, who became the love of his life, in the beginning spat ?at the stupid little thing?(36). Mrs. Earnshaw at the first encounter with him even called him a ?gipsy brat?(36) and ?was ready to fling it out of doors?(36). All these things impacted his perception of the world and people. ...read more.


She chose the first, which broke Heathcliff?s heart, and changed him forever for the worst. For him it was a stab in the back that scarred his heart permanently. After that, obviously, very little room for morality was left in him. Thus this contributed to his actions becoming devious, evil, malicious, and cold hearted. As many deeds of Heathcliff throughout the novel can be categorized as immoral, and the general public perceives him as an evil mastermind, still the readers must try to fit his shoes at least for a moment and try to see through his eyes, as his outlook was deeply affected by many things, sometimes quite ugly, that he went through in his life. Therefore, one should not judge the character of Heathcliff without referring to his childhood, without taking into consideration the attitude of others that he had lived with his entire life and without feeling the pain of losing the only love he had ever had. In some ways Catherine, Hindley, and Mrs. Earnshaw are the true villains in the novel because their actions shaped and molded Heathcliff into the person he became. Hence, maybe if he grew up in a different society and a household with different values and attitudes, the story would have been completely different. ...read more.

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