Wuthering Heights: What Do We Learn About Hindley In The First Half Of The Novel? What Do You Think About His Character And Role In The Whole Novel?

3125 words - 13 pages

Wuthering Heights Essay.I)What do you learn about the character of Hindley in these pages and how is he presented.II) Some readers see Hindley as an odd mixture of strength and weakness, of femininity and masculinity. What do you think about his character and role in the whole novel?Hindley is a pivotal character in Wuthering heights and features throughout the novel revealing a number of different aspects to his character. Initially presented as a young boy, soon ostracised after the introduction of Heathcliff to the Earnshaw family, he is driven to despair and self-loathing after the death of his wife Frances.Before this he exercises a tyrannical influence over the young Cathy and Heathcliff, after his father, Mr Earnshaw's death, getting what he feels is well deserved revenge after the rest of the family's poor treatment of him in past years. As Lockwood discovers these characters, uncovering Cathy's journal in a room at Wuthering heights from over twenty-five years ago, we get an immediate first impression of Hindley as Cathy describes a typical Sunday at her home. From the way in which Hindley is presented on these pages, we learn much about different aspects of his character.As Cathy begins we know nothing about the character of Hindley, and initially we sympathise with the young Cathy and Heathcliff as we see their apparently cruel treatment as uncalled for and unjust in proportion to their crimes. Later, as we hear Nelly Dean's narrative at the opening of chapter six, although the merciless persecution of the children by Hindley still indicates the bad natured ness of his character we have a much greater insight into the cause of his actions, and a greater sympathy with him.The first paragraph of Cathy's journal is used to highlight the gulf between Cathy's new treatment, compared with the way in which she was treated by her father, 'I wish my father was back. Hindley is a detestable substitute.' She expresses the need for her and Heathcliff to 'rebel' indicating they are being repressed in someway, which suggests that Hindley is an oppressive force. No details of Hindley's crimes are yet given, but immediately, images, even if not well defined ones, of a tyrannical prescience are conjured up. Cathy then goes into a detailed account of a Sunday in her life, in order to illustrate hers and Heathcliff's ill treatment. Bronte uses contrasting imagery to highlight the difference in treatment between Heathcliff and Cathy and Hindley and his wife, Frances. 'While Hindley and his wife basked downstairs before a comfortable fire/Heathcliff (and) myself... commanded to take our prayer books.' As Hindley sits in comfort the children are forced to sit through hours of homily, freezing and shivering. As well as conveying the idea of hypocrisy being part of Hindley' character from the way in which his actions are presented, his actions are reminiscent of the age old 'double standards' which people often have in relation to their children. However,...

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