The Character of Heathcliff in the novel, Wuthering Heights

Essay by Lollygagers15Junior High, 7th gradeA-, September 2004

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Throughout the novel, Wuthering Heights, the reader is exposed to the themes of revenge, social class, and love through the character of Heathcliff. Throughout the novel, Heathcliff is described as an inhuman monster-who demonstrates great acts of evil. From a literary perspective, he is more the embodiment of the Byronic hero, a man of stormy emotions. He strikes the reader as such an interesting character because of how his nature greatly changes from the beginning of the book to the ending, therefore, the theme of the "loss of innocence" can also be somewhat connected with Heathcliff.

The first theme that is connected with Heathcliff is revenge. Heathcliff demonstrates his revenge against several characters in the the novel. For example, one character is Hindley. Hindley, who once treated Heathcliff poorly during their childhood together, loses his position of owner of the household, Wuthering Heights. As a result, Heathcliff takes revenge by becoming the new owner and forcing Hindley's son, Hareton, to work long, hard hours in the fields.

Another character that Heathcliff demonstrates his revenge on is Edgar Linton. Edgar married Catherine Hareton, who Heathcliff was madly in love with, and as a result, Heathcliff decides to take venegeance on Edgar by marrying his sister, Isabella.

A second theme that is related to the character of Heathcliff is breaking the barrier of social class. Heathcliff was a lost orphan, making him on a much lower level than everyone else, however, as he proved himself to be a strong, controlling man. Hindley's father, Mr. Earnshaw, strongly favored Heathcliff and felt that Heathcliff should deserve equal rights as others. Heathcliff then demonstrates his ability to be a leader by taking over as the new owner of Wuthering Heights after the death of Hindley. This shows how Heathcliff broke the barriers...