Wuthering Heights: A Synopsis

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tWuthering Heights

In the Victorian era, men were believed to be inherently superior to women by natural design. We see that in Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff appears to impose dominance over many of the characters in the novel as the story progresses. His quest for vengeance and his inability to deal with the death of Catherine eventually reveal his true nature as a maudlin sociopath In chapter 10, upon Heathcliff's return to Wuthering Heights, Nelly recounts when she beheld "the transformation of Heathcliff" that "A half-civilized ferocity lurked yet in [his] depressed brows, and eyes full of black fire, but it was subdued; and his manner was even dignified, quite divested of roughness though too stern for grace". He is indeed at this point too stern for grace and has become vengeful, tormented by his lost love, and reduced to a shadow of his former self. As he begins to seek what he conceives as justice, any sympathy felt before for him begins to melt away. When Heathcliff returns to Wuthering Heights, he is no longer the impoverished boy as before. He is wealthy now and has lost all compassion for others. The first person he seeks revenge on is Hindley, who was responsible for the time that Heathcliff spent as a laborer. Hindley is impressionable due to a drinking problem and Heathcliff draws him into a debt which allows him to inherit the manor after Hindley's death. By seeking revenge on the brother of his former love, Heathcliff begins his acquisition of the things which he believes are rightfully his. As Hindley was abusive as a youth, the reader doesn't necessarily feel bad for the revenge Heathcliff so deeply desires. However, these actions are what will ultimately lead to Heathcliff's death, as he will realize that all he has wrought on those who've made his life miserable can't return the love he felt with Catherine or cease his haunting by her memory. At this point in the novel, Heathcliff has taken the deceased Hindley's son as his own. When it...
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