On Heathcliff’s Revenge

Topics: Wuthering Heights, Catherine Earnshaw, Emily Brontë Pages: 11 (4168 words) Published: November 11, 2008
On Heathcliff’s Revenge

I. Introduction
Emily Bronte is a genius in the history of English literature. In her short life, she completed a novel and 193 poems. Wuthering Heights is her only novel and is regarded as one of the most fascinating and most singular English novels; it is the complete embodiment of an intensive individual apprehension of the nature of man and life. The novel is a faithful portrayal of life, a fierce criticism of society, and a penetrating exploration of humanity. It is also a realistic story of the relations between the oppressor and the oppressed and of spiritual values, which are embodied in the characters, especially in the hero Heathcliff. Heathcliff is the hero of the novel, the word “Heathcliff” is made up of “heath” and “cliff”, means “areas of flat unused land, esp. if covered with heath” and “steep face of the rock, at the edge of the sea”. Author gave the hero such name; obviously, she has a special feeling towards the hero. Being the villain of the tale, Heathcliff is regarded the most horrid character on the stage of literature. He manipulates everyone else but himself. His rotten nature can be traced back to his early years when he was a poor, fatherless child. The lack of parental love and guidance made his life a difficult one. Heathcliff was an unwanted child who brought disorder to a previously happy household. Instead of rising from his poor position, he degenerated into an evil beast. By Heathcliff’s tragic revenge, Emily expressed her attitude towards society, embodied her outlook on life. II. Brief Introduction of Heathcliff’s Revenge

Wuthering Heights is a novel of revenge. The hero Heathcliff is regarded as a devil. Since he was young, his heart was full of hate and when he grew up, he worked all his life to revenge. The determination of revenge even made him being so little interested in his life. Why did he live like a devil instead of enjoying the peace of his life? In this part, I want to give a brief introduction of the bitter life experience and the doomed tragic fate of Heathcliff. 2.1 Tolerance

Heathcliff was a founding in the street of Liverpool. Mr. Earnshaw saw that he is “staring, and houseless, and as good as dumb”, sympathized with him, and took him back his home. In Mr. Earnshaw’s family, though Mr. Earnshaw loved him, his daughter Catharine was thick with him; his wife was ready to fling him out of the door , his son Hindley even hate him because he regarded Heathcliff as “a usurper of his father’s affections and his privileges”, so did the servant-girl of the family, Nelly Dean. They “plagued and went on with him shamefully and the mistress never put in a word on his behalf, when she saw him wronged.” After Earnshaw died, Hindley degraded him in every he could, “drove him from their company, to the servants, deprived him of the instruction of the curate, and insisted that he should labor out of the doors indeed; compelling him, to do so as hard as any other lad on the farm.” Heathcliff tolerated these ill-treatments for he still had a hope—the sincere love between him and Catherine. Heathcliff falls passionately in love with Catherine, Hindley’s sister, who loves him but thinks it would degrade her to marry him. Heathcliff, finding it impossible for him to be united to Catherine, leaves Wuthering Heights. Three years later, he returns, becoming a rich man, but finds that Catherine has been married Edgar Linton, a weakling. Heathcliff’s character is truly tragic because his mean disposition is a result of not getting the love that everyone deserves. Thus, he buries the seed of hatred deep in his heart. 2.2 Revolt

Upon his return to the Heights, Heathcliff becomes a cruel and unfeeling demon. As he seeks his revenge, he is so fiendish and is constantly associated with diabolical feelings, images and actions. First he gains possession of Wuthering Heights from his old enemy Hindley by making him sign the house over to him as payment for gambling...

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