You are currently viewing Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is often referred to in derogatory terms by the other characters, as being ‘the evil beast’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘without refinement’ and so on. Do you agree with such a judgement of Heathcliff.

Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is often referred to in derogatory terms by the other characters, as being ‘the evil beast’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘without refinement’ and so on. Do you agree with such a judgement of Heathcliff.

Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is often referred to in derogatory terms by the other characters, as being ‘the evil beast’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘without refinement’ and so on. Do you agree with such a judgement of Heathcliff.

Heathcliff & His Madness

After Heathcliff’s son Linton dies near the end of Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff, the cranky, violent, vengeful antihero of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is left alone at the house with Cathy (daughter of Heathcliff’s dead rival Edgar Linton) and Hareton Earnshaw (the son of Hindley Earnshaw, the man who abused Heathcliff as a child). Heathcliff hates them both, and they don’t care much for him or each other–at least at first. As time goes on, Cathy and Hareton grow closer and fall in love. Heathcliff can’t handle it, as they both look too much like his great unrequited love, Catherine Earnshaw. Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is often referred to in derogatory terms by the other characters, as being ‘the evil beast’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘without refinement’ and so on

Up until this point in the novel, Heathcliff has been full of vengeance and violence, but he’s changed now. He doesn’t have the will in him to take vengeance on these two, and he starts walking on the moors in the middle of the night instead. He doesn’t eat or drink hardly anything and he starts talking to the air, but he seems happy for the first time ever. One evening, Heathcliff bars himself in his room. Nelly forces her way in the next morning to find the window hanging open and Heathcliff dead, soaked with rainwater, his eyes open and his mouth smiling. Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is often referred to in derogatory terms by the other characters, as being ‘the evil beast’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘without refinement’ and so on

Heathcliff’s Madness

Heathcliff admits to Nelly, the maid at Wuthering Heights, that he wishes he could still work up the energy to wreak havoc on Cathy, Hareton, and people in general. He just can’t — at this point in his life, all he wants is to be reunited with Catherine Earnshaw. He stops eating and mostly stops socializing at all. Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is often referred to in derogatory terms by the other characters, as being ‘the evil beast’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘without refinement’ and so on

Heathcliff’s mood shifts abruptly after he spends a night walking around on the moors outside. For Heathcliff, nature represents Catherine in its wildness and uncaring nature, so spending a night out there with nature is as good as spending a night with her as long as Heathcliff is alive. He’s almost crazy with happiness after he takes his walk. He even smiles, which frightens Nelly. In addition to being happy, he also starts murmuring Catherine’s name and talking to himself. Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is often referred to in derogatory terms by the other characters, as being ‘the evil beast’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘without refinement’ and so on

Heathcliff’s Death

Heathcliff’s death is another opportunity for him to get closer to Catherine. He opens the window. It lets the wind and rain and general nature outside into the room, and it also allows Catherine’s ghost to enter the house and be with Heathcliff.

While Bronte never explicitly says that Catherine’s ghost is actually haunting Wuthering Heights (or even exists at all), Heathcliff’s belief in her ghost is enough. A closed window will stop a ghost from entering, so Heathcliff lets his hang wide open. Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is often referred to in derogatory terms by the other characters, as being ‘the evil beast’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘without refinement’ and so on

After the End

A few chapters before his madness, Heathcliff makes arrangements to be buried next to Catherine in her grave. He reminds Nelly about that arrangement right before he dies, and his wish is granted. Heathcliff and Catherine are finally together, and Cathy and Hareton are free to marry without Heathcliff’s interference. Some of the village folk even say they see Heathcliff and Catherine’s ghosts haunting the village and the moors together, but Lockwood’s not so sure.

Heathcliff: A Child of the Storm

Wuthering Heights is the place of storm, whereas Thrushcross Grange is the appropriate home of the calm, the gentle Lintons. Heathcliff, a child of the storm, is brought to Wuthering Heights. He falls in love with Catherine, herself a child of storm, but the later developments in the novel arouse his ire and hatred against the Earn-shaws and the Lintons. He is embittered by the harsh treatment of Hindley and disillusioned by what he considers the treachery of Catherine. The shock of her infidelity and Hindley’s ill-treatment of him disturb his nature and then he resolves to settle scores by crushing everyone who has stood in his way, everyone who has played to thwart his happiness. Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is often referred to in derogatory terms by the other characters, as being ‘the evil beast’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘without refinement’ and so on

Heathcliff’s Position in the Earnshaw Household

Being brought to Wuthering Heights by Mr. Earn shaw and lodged with his family, Heath cliff is regarded by everyone in the house with abhorrence chiefly because of his colour. But the master, Mr. Earn shaw, is very fond of him and likes him even more than his son, Hindley. The result is that Hindley’s dislike of him is deepened. He ill-treats Heath cliff and thrashes him frequently. However, Heath cliff bears the ill-treatment with patience. His fortitude is boundless which enables him to endure suffering to any extent. He always keeps calm and uncomplaining. True to his name he is hard as ‘cliff’ all along. This habit endears him both to Mr. Earn shaw and his daughter Catherine. Heath cliff, in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is often referred to in derogatory terms by the other characters, as being ‘the evil beast’, ‘uncivilised’, ‘without refinement’ and so on

Heathcliff: Strong but not Reckless

Heathcliff reacted to injustice and misfortune very strongly but never lost mental balance. After getting frustrated in love he did not become reckless like Hindley, nor submit to the darts of fortune like Edgar Linton. He was a conscious rebel. He knew that being penniless and lacking physical aid he had to fight his way through life single-handed. Thus he took stock of things at every step and devised a method after careful calculation. He did not care for either Hindley or Heathcliff, in Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights is often referred to in derogatory terms by the other characters, as being ‘the evil beast’, ‘un-civilised’, ‘without refinement’ and so on

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