Ms. Barnes AP Literature
8 December 2012
1979 - Wuthering Heights
Samuel Johnson once said that “Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice. Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged.” This quote is brought to life in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights where we see how protagonist Heathcliff’s childhood affects the fate of those who surround him and wronged him. The novel demonstrates how the presentation of this character makes us more sympathetic than we otherwise might be through the use of description, symbols and motifs.
At the beginning of the novel Bronte describes how Heathcliff was as a child through Nelly’s narration. Inc chapter 4 Nelly says that when Mr. Earnshaw brought him home to Wuthering Heights he was “dirty, ragged, black-haired” and that Mrs. Earnshaw wanted to kick him out of her house, however her husband opposed saying that he had found him “starving and homeless and as good as dumb.” With this description the reader can already set Heathcliff in a position in which one thinks that at that point his life has been bad enough to give him reasons to what he later does in the story. Also, we are introduced to how “Hindley hated him and to say the truth, [Nelly] did the same; and [they] plagued and went on with him shamefully…and the mistress never put a word on his behalf when she saw him wronged.” This is a powerful presentation of how Heathcliff grows up because it makes the reader pitty the character. In the novel Bronte uses the Moors as a symbol of Catherine and Heathcliff’s love. The moors are places which are often vast and wild. They are infertile and unchanging. Also, they are characterized by their foggy conditions which lead people to get lost easily. Just like the moors, the love of the two protagonists carries all the same characteristics. A love so vast and wild like the one they have the one for the other brings terrible consequences to those who surround the lovers when...