Throughout Wuthering Heights, it can be seen that Heathcliff is a social outcast, not fitting in with anything the other inhabitants of Wuthering Heights do. Any reader of the book produces completely different views on Heathcliff which represents even more so that he is misunderstood by many people. There are different characteristics that critics have labelled Heathcliff, some include a social misfit, a devil from hell, or something completely different by labelling him a romantic or gothic hero. The different characteristics indicate that there will never be one ‘label’ for Heathcliff. As Heathcliff is the main character of Emily Bronte’s novel, there are some interesting things that revolve around the man from the time that he arrives at Wuthering Heights as a complete outsider until he dies as a powerful landlord of both Wuthering Heights and Thurshcross Grange.
In the first part of Nelly’s narration, she begins by telling how Heathcliff comes about the house. ‘We crowed round, and, over Miss Cathy’s head, I had a peep at a dirty, ragged, black-haired child.’ Such language explores that he is no ordinary child. The other children then Hindley and Cathy couldn’t believe what their father had bought home. ‘Mrs Earnshaw was ready to chuck it out of the doors…asking how he could fashion to bring that gipsy brat into the house.’ Such a phrase would imply that if they were seen with the ‘gipsy’ they would be looked down on. They don’t understand Mr Earnshaw’s reason to bring it home. Cathy and Hindley rejected Heathcliff ‘they entirely refused to have it in bed with them, or even in their room..I put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it might be gone on the morrow’ Nobody wanted it to be part of the household. This first introduction to Heathcliff already explores he is socially beneath the other inhabitants of Wuthering Heights. He is typically described as an outside of the family structure. This will make him self conscious about himself and could be...
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