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Wuthering Heights: Heathcliff character analysis

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Introduction

25 September 2012Essay : HeathcliffJessica van den Brink Heathcliff Character Analysis Heathcliff is best seen as a child of the storm A storm is often described as wild and unforgiving, a destructive force of nature that cannot be predicted and leaves chaos and disarray in its wake. Often times a storm is associated with tragedy and pain because of its destructiveness. All of these features are characteristic of Heathcliff?s own personality. He is a very complex character made up of numerous layers that each impact the reader?s perception of him, whether it is in a positive or negative manner. When Heathcliff is introduced at Wuthering Heights, his appearance and manner is described to the reader by Nelly. Here, and in many occasions afterwards, Heathcliff is described to be a dark-skinned gypsy boy, giving the impression he is a wild, untamed creature. He is said to speak some gibberish that cannot be understood, showing either that he is uneducated or that he speaks a language that is foreign to the residents of Wuthering Heights. ...read more.

Middle

Very little is known about Heathcliff, but even so the reader feels that they know him. Another characteristic of a storm that can be seen in Heathcliff is his steadfastness and determination as shown by his will to exact revenge on Hindley after Mr. Earnshaw?s death and Hindley?s poor treatment of Heathcliff. His need to love Cathy even after her ?betrayal,? as he puts it, when she marries Edgar Linton, further emphasises this particular characteristic of his. His unwillingness to change his ideas and opinions about people and the way they should be treated also accentuates this point, though he does change his treatment of Hareton towards the end of the novel. Various shades of black, white and grey are associated with a storm and this compares to Heathcliff?s temperament as he too has various levels and layers in his personality as it is developed over time in the novel. At the beginning of the novel Heathcliff appears to be innocent and is welcomed, much like rain or showers. ...read more.

Conclusion

I disliked the way Cathy treated him after she had stayed at Thrushcross Grange and felt he deserved better treatment. When he left, I felt the foreboding and when he came back, the description provided by Nelly confirmed whatever suspicions I had. Upon Heathcliff?s return, I immediately began to dislike his character as he had become more wealthy and with this more haughty. He treated those around him much worse than he had before and was sent on exacting full vengeance on those that had mishandled and mistreated him before. Just before his death, I once again felt pity for him as it was clear to me that he had truly loved Cathy and that he missed her in his life once she had married Edgar Linton. Overall, I?m not sure whether I like Heathcliff or not as his character is too complex for me to be able to say. I liked his personality and actions in some parts of the text, but greatly disliked him in others. ...read more.

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