Wuthering Heights Essay

2794 words - 12 pages

ANALYSIS OF A MAIN CHARACTER Heathcliff is first introduced when Mr. Lockwood, the tenant of Thrushcross Grange, comes to visit him. From there, Nelly the housekeeper of Thrushcross narrates the story and the reader is taken back to the time when Heathcliff was a young, gypsy boy. He was found on the streets of Liverpool by Mr. Earnshaw, who brought him home to live at Wuthering Heights. At this new home, Heathcliff is viewed as a thing and therefore subject to being tormented and rejected even on the first evening. Mrs. Earnshaw was ready to fling it out of doors (Pg. 32, par. 3) and Nelly states that she had put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it would be gone on the morrow (Pg. 33 ...view middle of the document...

In the following years after Mr. Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is deprived of affection as well as education and he is set apart from the family. He was reduced to the status of a servant, beaten on a regular basis, and separated from his only friend Catherine. When they were caught at Thrushcross Grange, Heathcliff was rejected while Catherine was allowed to remain. Isabella is quoted as saying "Frightful thing! Put him in the cellar, papa. He's exactly like the son of the fortuneteller, that stole my tame pheasant. Isn't he Edgar?"(Pg.44, par.5) When Catherine finally returns to Wuthering Heights, her appearance is much different from that of when she lived there and Heathcliff was left feeling like an outsider. The final insult occurs when Catherine chooses to marry Edgar along with his social status and wealth over Heathcliff and his love. This does not cause Heathcliff to become weak and lose his pride. Instead, he simply disappears for three years and returns as a new person.The Heathcliff that returns however is much darker than the one that left. Catherine knows this and tells Isabella that he is like "a fierce, pitiless wolfish man". His schemes are much more cynical as is the case with marrying Isabella. He clearly views Edgar Linton as his enemy because Catherine chose to marry him. In order to complete his ultimate revenge, he must marry Isabella in order that he might somehow come to possess Thrushcross Grange. He knows this is not enough so he forces his scared son to marry Catherine's daughter, Cathy, to guarantee the ownership of the Grange. With Catherine's death, Heathcliff's revenge is complete because Edgar has lost his wife, daughter, sister, and the Grange. The only thing that didn't go as planned was Cathy's kidnapping. She escaped in time to see her father before his death, which made Edgar somewhat happy. Later, Heathcliff hangs Isabella's dog out of sheer cruelty and one can see that he has no love for his son Linton because he uses him as a pawn in the whole revenge scheme.At the ending of the novel, Heathcliff's attitude seems to change though. Catherine's death affects him profoundly and his interest in revenge slowly dissipates. Near death he states that Catherine had a hold over him even after her unfortunate death. He knows that he belongs with her and that is why he had arranged for his body to be buried beside hers after his death and why he said, "Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? You love me, what right had you to leave me?" When he had heard of Catherine's death, he was very sad and quoted as saying "I cannot live without my life, I cannot live without my soul". With Heathcliff's death, all evidence of his existence and revenge are erased. The two houses, Lintons and Earnshaw are finally joined as Cathy finds how much she likes Hareton.AN ANALYSIS OF A MAJOR THEME In the novel "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte, many relevant themes were portrayed. In this essay, I will be discussing one important...

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