Free Essay

Essay on Heathcliff

In: Novels

Submitted By Artemis8
Words 701
Pages 3
Charlotte Brontë described Heathcliff as a ‘man’s shape animated by demon life – a ghoul” To what extent do you think this is an accurate assessment of the ways in which Heathcliff is presented in the novel?

Heathcliff is presented in this novel in various different ways. He is a character that arguably shifts from having human qualities, to presenting traits of the Byronic hero and finally becoming a typical gothic villain. The doomed central character of Heathcliff in this gothic novel could be paralleled to that of Satan in John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ where Satan is cast out by God from Heaven into the terrible darkness of Hell.

One could argue that Brontë does in fact present Heathcliff as “a ghoul” by making a connection between him and the exotic and describing him from the very start as “dark almost as if [he] came from the devil” showing that his striking physical appearance, just like the Byronic hero, makes him unable to integrate into a higher social class. In an attempt to confine and dehumanize Heathcliff, Hindley forces him into servitude; although Heathcliff endures it, he plots how he can “paint the house-front with Hindley’s blood”. His cruelty serves to conceal the heart of a romantic hero and the fact that Heathcliff is subject to xenophobia which was a common sentiment among the British people in the colonial days of the early nineteenth century leads him to become an outcast and makes him a “child of the storm”, someone product of circumstances and a man distrustful of everybody and unable to engage in any social relations. Young Heathcliff shows a strong will to improve his station in life, but his unfortunate background and his repeated frustrations turn his nature into a devilish one.

Moreover, his relationship with Catherine leads to their own fatal destruction and this suffering turns Heathcliff into a damned hero. Once Catherine is dead, he loses all aims in his life and like the Byronic lover, he does not allow himself to find a happy ending, instead he lives the rest of his days with guilt and perpetual torment. His passionate nature leads to an intolerable frustration that makes him lose his humanity.

Heathcliff is presented as an evil man and the typical Gothic villain displaying no human feelings with his cruel treatment of Catherine and Isabella. Even Cathy whom he calls “my love, my life, and my soul” accuses him of being her murderer (“you have killed me – and thriven on it”) showing the gothic hero’s mystical power to triumph over women’s will and conscience by resorting to his dark demonic appeal as well as showing his ‘otherness’ by the fact that he can love to a great degree but can also inflict pain and suffering, typical features of a gothic hero. Furthermore Isabella asks “Is Mr.Heathcliff a man? ... And if not, is he a devil?” Isabella’s questions reflect Heathcliff’s abnormity caused by his drive for revenge. He is depicted in a monstrous way even though he manages to make enormous fortune and he is synonymous of “demon” throughout the course of the novel as he is capable of inflicting brutal behaviour towards his wife and his lover.

He could also be seen as neither a man nor a ghoul but a way in which Brontë uses him as a social commentary. Heathcliff, like the Byronic hero might represent an attack and the refusal on the established norms and values of Victorian society. Moreover, Heathcliff as a supernatural presence, that is “a ghoul” has been challenged by the fact that his love for Catherine and all the emotions that follow show the concerns of a genuine human heart. Therefore, Heathcliff could be regarded as the result of a fusion of two types of “otherness” the human and the inhumane.

In conclusion, the prejudice he endures is what makes him a “demon” and “a ghoul”. From his rejection since childhood he learns that the only way to survive is to emulate it. His behaviour is conditioned by other people and therefore he becomes a “gothic villain” as at first he is portrayed as the victim and his desire for “revenge” turn him into a “demon”.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Wuthering Heights Ap Essay

...In a well-written essay, identify the “spiritual reassessment or moral reconciliation” evident in the ending and explain its significance in the work as a whole. Wuthering Heights depicts the story of a vengeful man who exists solely to make those closest to him suffer. Heathcliff, a dark and evil character, is stripped of his other half, his true love, Catherine, at the young age of 12, and dedicates the rest of his life to seeking revenge on those who hurt him. At Catherine’s death, Heathcliff goes mad and wishes that her spirit will haunt him on earth. Heathcliff’s insanity and cruel nature stem from his preclusion of marrying Catherine, and her eventual death. In Charlotte Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff’s spiritual reassessment comes at the end of his life, when he finally realizes his love for Catherine is more powerful than his need for vengeance. Heathcliff’s love for Catherine was so passionate that it drove him to absurdity at the event of her death. He was brought into the Earnshaw family as an orphan who had nothing, and so grew up with Catherine playing in the Moors together. Then, at age 12, they were separated and were not allowed to play together again. Heathcliff seemed as a normal boy until this moment, which was the first spark of his devilish ways. Catherine was married to a quiet, mild Edgar Linton, whom she married for wealth...

Words: 622 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Wuthering Heights Anaylsis

...Wuthering Heights Essay Rewrite: Within the novel Wuthering Heights, written by Emily Bronte, readers are confronted with many complex relationships. At times it is hard to understand these due to the range of relationships that occur, from interactions of hatred to relationships that show true passion. One such complex relationship is between Hareton Earnshaw and Catherine. As the novel progresses, we see love develop between these two characters that is best explained by how they are brought together, the problems that their relationship poses and how this relationship affects the other characters in the novel and the plot of the novel itself. The first way to understand this relationship is to examine how these two characters are brought together. In the novel, there is a real sense that fate has a lot to do with the union between the lovers, as Catherine and Hareton are reunited at the symbolic Penistone Crags. Catherine has a burning desire to go to the crags, the symbol of maturity, natural erotic desire and wild temptation. She asks Nelly and her father “Now, am I old enough to go to Penistone Crags?”(Brontë 147) As Catherine reaches teenage years, she desires to travel outside of Thrushcross Grange and ascend the large Penistone Crags, which are close to Wuthering Heights and Hareton. Catherine and Hareton spend the whole day near the Crags until Nelly fetches them....

Words: 1226 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Light of Moon

...12/7/2015 Wuthering Heights - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Wuthering Heights From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë's only novel. Written between October 1845 and June 1846,[1] Wuthering Heights was published in 1847 under the pseudonym "Ellis Bell"; Brontë died the following year, aged 30. Wuthering Heights and Anne Brontë's Agnes Grey were accepted by publisher Thomas Newby before the success of their sister Charlotte's novel, Jane Eyre. After Emily's death, Charlotte edited the manuscript of Wuthering Heights, and arranged for the edited version to be published as a posthumous second edition in 1850.[2] Although Wuthering Heights is now widely regarded as a classic of English literature, contemporary reviews for the novel were deeply polarised; it was considered controversial because its depiction of mental and physical cruelty was unusually stark, and it challenged strict Victorian ideals of the day, including religious hypocrisy, morality, social classes and gender inequality.[3][4] The English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti referred to it as "A fiend of a book – an incredible monster ... The action is laid in hell, – only it seems places and people have English names there."[5] In the second half of the 19th century, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre was considered the best of the Brontë sisters' works, but following later re-evaluation, critics began to argue that Wuthering Heights was superior.[6] The book has inspired......

Words: 6936 - Pages: 28

Free Essay

Huck Fin

...In this essay I am going to compare the relationships in Romeo and Juliet and wuthering heights by discussing their similarities and how love is portrayed in them. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and wuthering heights by Emily Bronte are considered to be two of the most famous love stories ever written in the English language. Both explore love from many different perspectives such as domestic, maternal, social,romantic,religious and transcendent. The main characters in these two novels are Romeo and Juliet and Cathy and Heathcliffe.Cathy and Juliet’s lives are similar by how their lives rely around their lovers. Both of which also have their own personal obstacles to overcome, for example Juliet does not want to jeopardise her reputation and Heathcliff has to put aside the hatred he has towards them. Both stories display forbidden love by how Romeo and Juliet’s families are involved in a family feud and they are betraying them by falling love with one another, how Cathy is married to Edgar and sneaks around to visit Heathcliff behind Edgar's back is also portraying this idea of forbidden love and secrecy. Cathy describes her love for Heathcliff like the “sea” and that her love for Edgar is like a “horse trough” this suggests her love for Heathcliff is ever going and dangerous/unpredictable whereas her love for Edgar is confined and motionless unless prompted....

Words: 1594 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Book Club Isu Essay

...Book Club ISU Essay To respect one’s reputation or to be full of pride and ego is what differentiates between a righteous and respectable person and an arrogant one. The books, “Alias Grace”, “Call of the Wild”, “Wuthering Heights” and “Mayor of Casterbridge” all demonstrate that by protecting ones pride only leads to more destruction of it. “Alias Grace” written by Margaret Atwood, shows this with the possession of Grace’s body and with the accusations made towards Grace. “Call of Wild” by Jack Landon also demonstrates this theme with the killing of Curly, and the transformation of Buck. Emily Bronte’s “Wuthering Heights” illustrates this with the interference of class difference in love and the pride of two people coming in the way of their union. Finally, in “Mayor of Casterbridge” by Thomas Hardy, the main character’s stubbornness and pride of protecting his name leads to damaging his personal relationships, work and eventually his life. The first book, “Alias Grace” was shared by group member, Angel. She felt this book was “Interesting, with a hidden arrogance and pride laced within the characters." In the book it shows how after the truth of Mary possessing Grace’s body is disclosed, Mary wishes that Grace is kept oblivious to the truth so her image does not get lowered in the eyes of Grace. This shows Mary’s character valuing what her friend thinks of her rather than respecting her enough to tell the truth....

Words: 1305 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Explore the Presentation of the Troubled Mind in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and the Poetry of John Keats, with Illuminating Reference to Ken Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

...The Edge…There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are ones who have gone over.” - Hunter S. Thompson. Explore the presentation of the troubled mind in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and the poetry of John Keats, with illuminating reference to Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. “The Edge” described by Hunter S. Thompson is, he says, unexplainable. What seems clear is that ‘the Edge’ is at the limit of the human mind. It can’t be explained, Thompson says, because the only people who ‘really know where it is’ are the ones who ‘have gone over’ it, those who have died or else never returned to ‘reality’ and ‘sanity’. Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, the poetry of John Keats, and Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest all describe, in differing ways, states of mind on ‘the Edge’. When they were first published, the contemporary reception to Keats’s poems and to Wuthering Heights was remarkably similar. Keats was described as writing ‘the most incongruous ideas in the most uncouth language’ , while Bronte’s novel (published under the male pseudonym Ellis Bell) was called ‘too coarse and disagreeable to be attractive’, and described as ‘wild, confused, disjointed, and improbable’ with characters who are ‘savages ruder than those who lived before the days of Homer.’ These accusations of ‘uncouth’, ‘coarse’ and ‘disjointed’ writing suggest that both authors had already crossed one edge with their writing: the edge...

Words: 3252 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Life

...Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us. A capital fellow! He little imagined how my heart warmed towards him when I beheld his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows, as I rode up, and when his fingers sheltered themselves, with a jealous resolution, still further in his waistcoat, as I announced my name. ’Mr. Heathcliff?’ I said. A nod was the answer. ’Mr. Lockwood, your new tenant, sir. I do myself the honour of calling as soon as possible after my arrival, to express the hope that I have not inconvenienced you by my perseverance in soliciting the occupation of Thrushcross Grange: I heard yesterday you had had some thoughts - ‘ 2 of 540 Wuthering Heights ’Thrushcross Grange is my own, sir,’ he interrupted, wincing. ‘I should not allow any one to inconvenience me, if I could hinder it - walk in!’ The ‘walk in’ was uttered with closed teeth, and expressed the sentiment, ‘Go to the Deuce:’ even the gate over which he leant manifested no sympathising movement to the words; and I think that circumstance determined me to accept the invitation: I felt interested in a man who seemed more exaggeratedly reserved than myself. When he saw my horse’s breast fairly pushing the barrier, he did put out his hand to unchain it, and then sullenly preceded me up the causeway, calling, as we entered the court, - ‘Joseph, take...

Words: 119802 - Pages: 480

Free Essay

13322

...Rickey Lawson Mr. Holcomb English Comp I 25 April 2014 Bill Cosby Bill Cosby, one of television’s funniest and most iconic comedic actors, has spent his long career making people laugh. Not only did he bring joy and laughter to people’s lives he also became a pioneer for many black actors by starring many TV shows like “I Spy”, ” Fat Albert”, and “The Cosby Show” .Whether it be through concert appearances or recordings, television or films, commercials or education, Bill Cosby has the ability to touch people’s lives. William Henry Cosby Jr was born on July 12, 1937 in Philadephia, Pennsylvania, to Anna and William Cosby. Cosby's father joined the navy and was away from home for months at a time. Cosby, as the oldest son, helped his mother pay the bills by having various jobs such as delivering groceries and shining shoes. At school, he was known for being a class clown by his teachers and for being a great story teller and also being a star athlete in various sports such as track and field, football, and basketball. Growing up in a poor family Cosby learned very early in life that his humor will get him through tough times. During his off time Cosby would listen to one of his favorite comedians Jerry Lewis on the radio, and started to imitate him. While his mother always pushed for him and his brothers to get an education Bill was never interested in school because he always failed his classes, so during his tenth grade year Cosby decided to drop out of high school...

Words: 1586 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

English Literature

...1. Literature of the 17th century. John Milton. “Paradise Lost”. John Bunyan. “Pilgrim’s Progress”. The peculiarities of the English literature of the 17th century are determined by the events of the Engl. Bourgeois Revolution, which took place in 1640-60. King Charles I was beheaded in 1649& General Oliver Cromwell became the leader of the new government. In 1660, shortly after Cro-ll’s death, the dynasty of the Stuarts was restored. The establishment of new social&eco-ic relations, the change from feudal to bourgeois ownership, escalating class-struggle, liberation movement and contradictions of the bourgeois society found their reflection in lit-re. The main representatives of this period is: John Milton: was born in London&educated at Christ’s College. He lived a pure life believing that he had a great purpose to complete. At college he was known as the The Lady of Christ’s. he Got master’s degree at Cambridge. It’s convenient to consider his works in 3 divisions. At first he wrote his short poems at Horton. (The Passion, Song on May Morning, L’Allegro). Then he wrote mainly prose. His 3 greatest poems belong to his last group. At the age of 23 he had still done little in life&he admits this in one of his sonnets. (On his 23d B-day) In his another sonnet he wrote on his own blindness. (On his Blindness) Milton wrote diff. kinds of works. His prose works were mainly concerned with church, affairs, divorce & freedom. The English civil war between......

Words: 10397 - Pages: 42

Free Essay

The Outline of English Literature

...Министерство образования и науки Республики Казахстан Кокшетауский государственный университет им. Ш. Уалиханова An Outline of British Literature (from tradition to post modernism) Кокшетау 2011 УДК 802.0 – 5:20 ББК 81:432.1-923 № 39 Рекомендовано к печати кафедрой английского языка и МП КГУ им. Ш. Уалиханова, Ученым Советом филологического факультета КГУ им. Ш. Уалиханова, УМС КГУ им. Ш. Уалиханова. Рецензенты: Баяндина С.Ж. доктор филологических наук, профессор, декан филологического факультета КГУ им. Ш. Уалиханова Батаева Ф.А. кандидат филологических наук, доцент кафедры «Переводческое дело» Кокшетауского университета им. А. Мырзахметова Кожанова К.Т. преподаватель английского языка кафедры гуманитарного цикла ИПК и ПРО Акмолинской области An Outline of British Literature from tradition to post modernism (on specialties 050119 – “Foreign Language: Two Foreign Languages”, 050205 – “Foreign Philology” and 050207 – “Translation”): Учебное пособие / Сост. Немченко Н.Ф. – Кокшетау: Типография КГУ им. Ш. Уалиханова, 2010 – 170 с. ISBN 9965-19-350-9 Пособие представляет собой краткие очерки, характеризующие английскую литературу Великобритании, ее основные направления и тенденции. Все известные направления в литературе иллюстрированы примерами жизни и творчества авторов, вошедших в мировую литературу......

Words: 82733 - Pages: 331

Premium Essay

Learning Theory

...Beginning theory An introduction to literary and cultural theory Second edition Peter Barry © Peter Barry 1995, 2002 ISBN: 0719062683 Contents Acknowledgements - page x Preface to the second edition - xii Introduction - 1 About this book - 1 Approaching theory - 6 Slop and think: reviewing your study of literature to date - 8 My own 'stock-taking' - 9 1 Theory before 'theory' - liberal humanism - 11 The history of English studies - 11 Stop and think - 11 Ten tenets of liberal humanism - 16 Literary theorising from Aristotle to Leavis some key moments - 21 Liberal humanism in practice - 31 The transition to 'theory' - 32 Some recurrent ideas in critical theory - 34 Selected reading - 36 2 Structuralism - 39 Structuralist chickens and liberal humanist eggs Signs of the fathers - Saussure - 41 Stop and think - 45 The scope of structuralism - 46 What structuralist critics do - 49 Structuralist criticism: examples - 50 Stop and think - 53 Stop and think - 55 39 Stop and think - 57 Selected reading - 60 3 Post-structuralism and deconstruction - 61 Some theoretical differences between structuralism and post-structuralism - 61 Post-structuralism - life on a decentred planet - 65 Stop and think - 68 Structuralism and post-structuralism - some practical differences - 70 What post-structuralist critics do - 73 Deconstruction: an example - 73 Selected reading - 79 4 Postmodernism - 81 What is postmodernism? What was modernism? -...

Words: 98252 - Pages: 394

Premium Essay

Frankenstein

...Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Key facts full title ·  Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus author · Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley type of work · Novel genre · Gothic science fiction language · English time and place written · Switzerland, 1816, and London, 1816–1817 date of first publication · January 1, 1818 publisher · Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones narrator · The primary narrator is Robert Walton, who, in his letters, quotes Victor Frankenstein’s first-person narrative at length; Victor, in turn, quotes the monster’s first-person narrative; in addition, the lesser characters Elizabeth Lavenza and Alphonse Frankenstein narrate parts of the story through their letters to Victor. climax · The murder of Elizabeth Lavenza on the night of her wedding to Victor Frankenstein in Chapter 23 protagonist · Victor Frankenstein antagonist · Frankenstein’s monster setting (time) · Eighteenth century setting (place) · Geneva; the Swiss Alps; Ingolstadt; England and Scotland; the northern ice point of view · The point of view shifts with the narration, from Robert Walton to Victor Frankenstein to Frankenstein’s monster, then back to Walton, with a few digressions in the form of letters from Elizabeth Lavenza and Alphonse Frankenstein. falling action · After the murder of Elizabeth Lavenza, when Victor Frankenstein chases the monster to the northern ice, is rescued by Robert Walton, narrates his story, and......

Words: 51140 - Pages: 205

Free Essay

Gabriel's Inferno

...Prologue Florence, 1283 The poet stood next to the bridge and watched as the young woman approached. The world ground to a near standstill as he remarked her wide, dark eyes and elegantly curled brown hair. At first he didn’t recognize her. She was breathtakingly beautiful, her movements sure and graceful. Yet there was something about her face and figure that reminded him of the girl he’d fallen in love with long ago. They’d gone their separate ways, and he had always mourned her, his angel, his muse, his beloved Beatrice. Without her, his life had been lonely and small. Now his blessedness appeared. As she approached him with her companions, he bowed his head and body in a chivalrous salute. He had no expectation that his presence would be acknowledged. She was both perfect and untouchable, a browneyed angel dressed in resplendent white, while he was older, world-weary and wanting. She had almost passed him when his downcast eyes caught sight of one of her slippers — a slipper that hesitated just in front of him. His heart beat a furious tattoo as he waited, breathless. A soft and gentle voice broke into his remembrances as she spoke to him kindly. His startled eyes flew to hers. For years and years he’d longed for this moment, dreamed of it even, but never had he imagined encountering her in such a serendipitous fashion. And never had he dared hope he would be greeted so sweetly. Caught off balance, he mumbled his pleasantries and allowed himself the indulgence of a......

Words: 188392 - Pages: 754

Free Essay

Idioms and Expression

...Idioms and Expressions by David Holmes A method for learning and remembering idioms and expressions I wrote this model as a teaching device during the time I was working in Bangkok, Thailand, as a legal editor and language consultant, with one of the Big Four Legal and Tax companies, KPMG (during my afternoon job) after teaching at the university. When I had no legal documents to edit and no individual advising to do (which was quite frequently) I would sit at my desk, (like some old character out of a Charles Dickens’ novel) and prepare language materials to be used for helping professionals who had learned English as a second language—for even up to fifteen years in school—but who were still unable to follow a movie in English, understand the World News on TV, or converse in a colloquial style, because they’d never had a chance to hear and learn common, everyday expressions such as, “It’s a done deal!” or “Drop whatever you’re doing.” Because misunderstandings of such idioms and expressions frequently caused miscommunication between our management teams and foreign clients, I was asked to try to assist. I am happy to be able to share the materials that follow, such as they are, in the hope that they may be of some use and benefit to others. The simple teaching device I used was three-fold: 1. Make a note of an idiom/expression 2. Define and explain it in understandable words (including synonyms.) 3. Give at least three sample sentences to illustrate how the expression is......

Words: 237262 - Pages: 950