About this sample
About this sample
Words: 1553 |
8 min read
Published: May 7, 2019
Words: 1553|Pages: 3|8 min read
“The Wuthering Heights is one of the best novels in English literature and has been presented in many works of art. This remarkable novel was written by the writer Emily Brontë in 1847. The author wonderfully presented several characters that subjected to painful events through the events of the novel. This novel was marked by dramatic events and tragedies. Therefore, it inspired many writers to present it in works of art on radio and cinema. The orphaned boy Heathcliff and the beautiful girl Catherine Earnshaw were considered the two main characters, which the events revolved around. There were several other personalities contributed to the formation of dramatic events dramatically. In some situations, the character was a victim, while in other situations it causes harm to others. This showed the complexity of the characters in the novel and made it more expressive. In this article, I will try to understand and analyze Heathcliff’s character through the various events of the novel and how his character changed from victim to victimizer that caused harm to others.
Heathcliff’s character was portrayed from the beginning of the novel as a victim of the circumstances and some of the surrounding characters. Events began when Mr. Earnshaw traveled to work in the city. He found a hungry young child that was homeless on the roads, then he took him home to adopt him. From the first day, everyone hated Heathcliff, the name that Mr. Earnshaw named him. Hindley was considered the most important reason to change of Heathcliff’s character in the novel. Heathcliff considered him an enemy from the beginning and he would take his place in the heart of his father, so he never stopped hurting and torturing him. Heathcliff was an innocent child and did not diminish respect for anyone at home. He was reacted to Hindley’s abuse with silence. When Mrs. Earnshaw’s wife died, Mr. Earnshaw decided to send Hindley to a military school as a result of his misconduct and treatment of Heathcliff. Mr. Earnshaw loved Heathcliff and allowed him to study alongside Catherine, who was the same age. The events changed drastically when Mr. Earnshaw died. Hindley’s came back, he was 20 years old and had the worst deal at the military school. Of course, he did not forget that Heathcliff was the reason for going to. He immediately separated Heathcliff from his studies, took him to the rank of a servant and prevented him from sighting Catherine, who was so attached to her. We find this in the following quote: “He drove him from their company to the servants, deprived him of the instructions of the curate, and insisted that he should labor out of doors instead; compelling him to do so as hard as any other lad on the farm.” Little by little, Heathcliff was 15 years old turned into a dirty, bad-tempered young man because of his work on the farm and the abuse and physical violence that he constantly receives from Hindley.
Therefore, Heathcliff changed to a ferocious animal with no trace of humanity left in his heart, but the only thing that remained the focus of his life was Catherine, who he loved madly.
In this period of history at the beginning of the nineteenth century, there were many complex issues that were prevalent in British society, such as different classes and racism against other races. The issue of different classes was the main reason that prevented Catherine from marrying Heathcliff because she could not face the society and marry him. We find in the following quote that Catherine realized this class thinking: “”I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now.”” Also, we find that racist thinking about people of other races was widespread in British society and we find in many dialogues of the victims of Heathcliff expressions that reflect this racist thought. For example, Isabella Linton linked the background of Heathcliff’s ethnic to various mistakes and criminal acts. We find this in the following quote: “”The cowardly children crept nearer also, Isabella lisping—””Frightful thing! Put him in the cellar, papa. He’s exactly like the son of the fortune-teller that stole my tame pheasant. Isn’t he, Edgar?”” Heathcliff suffered from the two cases in the novel because he was an orphan child and poor who was unknown his origin. Therefore, this made him was despised by many in class and racism. Nelly was aware of the reality of society and this negative view and tried to advise him to overcome this problem that it was from the background. We find this in the following quote: “”Were I in your place, I would frame high notions of my birth, and the thoughts of what I was should give me courage and dignity to support the oppression of a little farmer!””
Heathcliff’s character greatly changed as a result of the tragedies that he was subjected to. He was turned from an innocent person who did not meet evil with evil to a reprisal personality. He just thought of retaliation against the characters who abused him, and the idea of revenge was at the center of his life and the main engine of his actions. With the events, we find that Heathcliff’s thought of revenge became no longer limited to the characters who abused him but also wants to revenge on their children, brothers, their relatives and anyone who can be strongly related to them. The following quotation illustrates His strong desire for revenge: “”My old enemies have beaten me; now would be the precise time to revenge myself on their representatives: I could do it, and none could hinder me.”” We also find that his desire for vengeance became to include everyone, even Catherine, who he loved as if revenge has become his main goal and the sense of torment of others was his only wish. We find him was wishing Catherine that was his beloved to suffer and wished her not to feel peace even when she died. this in the following quote: “”Is it not sufficient for your infernal selfishness, that while you are at peace I shall writhe in the torments of hell?””.
There were many characters who fell prey to Heathcliff and his unbridled desire for revenge. Isabella Linton, sister of Edgar Linton was the biggest victim of him. He was able to deceive, attract and marry her, especially after his return as a rich man after long years of alienation. His only goal was to destroy her, her family and revenge on her brother, but in the end, she fled from the house and lived with her son away from the others until she died. In the following quote we find her suffering from Heathcliff’s desire to revenge on Edgar and she was just a victim of Heathcliff’s desire and anger: “He told me of Catherine’s illness, and accused my brother of causing it; promising that I should be Edgar’s proxy in suffering, till he could get hold of him.” Also, there were several characters who were the victims of Heathcliff’s anger, Heathcliff’s son Linton after his mother’s death came back, he lived under Heathcliff’s control who pushed him to marry Catherine Linton to gain her wealth. In addition to Catherine Linton, the daughter of Catherine Earnshaw and Edgar Linton, who was deceived by Linton Heathcliff and forced to marry her after being locked up and threatened, Hareton Earnshaw who was Hindley’s son, Heathcliff adopted him to retaliate for the ill-treatment that he received from his father, Hindley.
Heathcliff’s character subjected to a lot of persecution so the revenge was considered a normal reaction to this stress. Many people disagree with this issue, although their agreement about the difficulty of the tragedy that Heathcliff suffered. Some people saw that Heathcliff’s character was not inherently evil, but that the evil characters around him were the cause of his conversion, but others saw him as evil and he was not forgiving for others. In my opinion, the tragedy that Heathcliff suffered should lead him to change and think of retaliation against the people who abused him. This is justified, although it does not include the concept of tolerance, the thought of reprisals from other characters who did not hurt him, their only guilt was their relationship with the characters who treated him in an abusive manner was unjustified. This made him guilty as well.
There is no doubt that Heathcliff’s character in the novel Wuthering Heights contributed mainly to the complexity and overlap of events between the various characters in the novel. The portrayal of Heathcliff as a complex character that turned from being a victim to a person who wanted to revenge on everyone made events very different and there was an overlap between the characters. This is because the idea of revenge that dominated Heathcliff’s thought had brought them together in one frame and made the events of the novel take different directions. Therefore, each personality changed as a result of the tragedy it experienced through the novel. All of these things influenced the events of the novel and made it more complex and one of the best novels in English literature.
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