The Transformation of Heathcliff

Topics: Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë, Heathcliff Pages: 4 (1279 words) Published: December 7, 2010
In Emily Bronte’s novel, Wuthering Heights, one of the main characters, Heathcliff, makes this transition from the beginning of the story to end. At first , he is sympathetically portrayed as a boy who was shoved into the Earnshaw family, then he becomes this innocent boy who has this never ending love for Catherine Earnshaw, and finally he transforms into this extremely revengeful man who will stop at nothing to try and undo all the wrong things that were done to him. Heathcliff goes from being the victim of the story, to being the victimizer. He is this very distinct person, but he does not have one persona about him. Heathcliff is at times is this sensitive, loving person who would do anything for Catherine. But he is also a wronged person, and because of this, he seeks revenge on almost everybody in the story. Whether or not they have directly harmed him. These two qualities together make Heathcliff a dangerous person overall. I believe that Heathcliff is this naturally sensitive and loving person, but because of all the things that have happened to him, he feels the need to compensate to be accepted by everybody. And the only way he knows how is to take over everything and become as powerful as he can. Heathcliff is brought to Wuthering Heights as a dirty, ragged, gypsy boy, by Mr. Earnshaw, the master of Wuthering Heights. The orphan child is baptized with the name Heathcliff, the name of an Earnshaw baby that died at birth. As Heathcliff grows up, he is compared to a cuckoo by Mrs. Dean. A cuckoo is a bird who comes into a nest and takes the Creswell 2

place of the natural siblings. Heathcliff, like a cuckoo, is an intruder who takes the place of a natural offspring and becomes the sole focus of the family. This circumstance foreshadows a life of a child who tries to be something that is impossible. Heathcliff can never be more than what he is. He can never be accepted as a natural son in the Earnshaw family. Regardless of what he does or how hard he...
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