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Heathcliff 1-4Edit

In these seven chapters Heathcliff is portrayed in many different ways. In the first couple of chapters, Heathcliff is portrayed as a gruff cold hearted man who could care less about his tennants. As he explaines his relation to Mrs. Heathcliff to Lockwood he gave her, "a look of hatred," (Bronte 14). In every aspect of his life, Heathcliff is cruel: his interactions with his guests and workers show a lack of interest in others while his inhospitable actions prove that he only cares for himself. For example, his guest, Lockwood falls outside and is attacked by dogs and, "Still Heathcliff laughed," (Bronte 19). Clearly he is very inpolite and sour towards others and at this point we dont know why. In chapter three however, we see an eerie side of Heathcliff that could contribute to his cruelty. When Lockwood has the vivid battle with the ghost, Heathcliff calls out to this ghost saying, "Cathy, do come. Oh, do once more!" (Bronte 31). This loss could have turned a not so bitter man into a bitter one.

Once Lockwood returns home, he consults with a woman who tells him the story at Wuthering Heights. It turns out that the old scrooge was once an innocent boy who was hated very strongly by someone. Heathcliff was taken in by a family and he developed a very strong relationship with Catherine but was hated by her brother Hindley, but loved by most others of the family. It was obvious that he had a rough upbrining. His everyday life consisted of spending time with Catherine and then getting abused by Hindley. For example, one day Hindley told Poor Heathcliff to, " damned," and then calls him a, "beggarly interloper," (Bronte 42). The reader now should feel some compasion for Heathcliff now that his history has been shared. He is a character that will change throughout the book in the minds of the reader.


Ross Skipper 1-4 At the beginning of the novel, Heathcliff is seen as a dark, rude, and somewhat mysterious man who is cruel to Lockwood. Although Lockwood does not understand the motives of Heathcliff at first, he is later informed of much of Heathcliff's upbringing by Nelly. Lockwood is subject to a rude awakening as he is pounced on by the dogs in chapter three. While Lockwood is attacked by these "two hairy monsters" (Brontë 19), Heathcliff instead of helping, sits there and lets out a "mingled guffaw" that frustrates Lockwood extremely.

The next instance in which a mysterious side is seen coming from Heathcliff is when Lockwood is apparently attacked by a ghost in the middle of the night. This point in the novel proves that Heathcliff has probably dealt with Catherine's ghost before, but in a very strange way. After the entire debaucle, Heathcliff proceeds to begin talking with Catherine's ghost saying, "Cathy do come, Oh do--once more! Oh! my heart's darling! har me this time. Catherine, at last!" (Brontë 31). Especially after this point, Heathcliff is characterized as a strange figure with not much pity or respect for anyone else. 

As the novel progresses, Lockwood finds out more and more about Heathcliff and about his childhood. Lockwood is told that Heathcliff was an orphan who was adopted and had a deep love for Catherine Earnshaw, although Catherine's brother Hindley is not fond of Heathcliff at all. Throughout Heathcliff's childhood he is constantly mistreated by Hindley and always holds a grudge against him for doing so. Many of the stories of Heathcliff's bad childhood can probably relate to his hostility towards other guests as he was once treated poorly when he was first introduced to the family as.

William Stout 5-8

In chapters one through four we discover that Heathcliff and Catherine are as close as two young friends or lovers can be. In these chapters their relationship is described in more detail. Also we see Heathcliff's life take a turn for the worse. Mr. Earnshaw dies and Hindley takes over Wuthering Heights, which give him the right to treat Heathcliff however he wants to. For example, Hindley says that Heathcliff should, "Labor out of doors instead," (Bronte 48). Heathcliff is living the life of a slave at this point. Hindley commands that he not be educated that he should not have any luxuries that any normal members of the house get, and lastly he claims that Heathcliff should not work any less hard than anyone on the property. Heathcliff is not owned by Hindley. He could leave and start a better life whenever he wanted to. The only thing that keeps him in the power of the oppressive Hindley is his dearest Catherine. Bronte even writes that the only reason he could bear his degradation was because, "Cathy taught him what she learnt, and worked or played with him in the fields," (Bronte 48). This loves that even at a young age Heathcliff has found his true love, he just doesn't know it yet. However, since this is the only person or thing he has ever valued in his life, we now know why her death caused him to have been living his life in such deep depression and solitary while trying to communicate with the last remnant that is left of his beloved, her ghost.

Ross Skipper 5-8

Chapters 5-8 reveal many details of Heathcliff's past that show why he is the way he is now. The reader finds out about Heathcliff's life as a young man and how Hindley completely destroys his chances of ever marrying Catherine. The first fact that Lockwood learns from Nelly that definitely impacted Heathcliff's life negatively was that he was named Heathcliff because "it was the name of a son who died in childhood" (Brontë 40). Heathcliff probably felt like he was just a replacement son for the son that died which was a negative way to welcome a child into the family for sure. Later Nelly tells of how Heathcliff was brought down socially by Hindley so much to the point that he is essentially a slave and is not as equal as everyone else in the family. When "Hindley became tyrannical" (Brontë 48), this is when Heathcliff's life forever is changed in a way that he can not help or control in any way.

William Stout 9-12

In the chapters prior to nine through twelve, the reader pities Heathcliff. However, as he begins to come into his own over the next few chapters we see his true colors show. We see the persona that is shown when the reader first meets Heathcliff: the secretive, behind the scenes man who is always out to get someone. For example, Nelly makes a trip to Wuthering Heights and young Hareton throws stones at her and curses at her. When Nelly asks him, "Who taught (him) such words," he responds by saying, "Heathcliff," (Bronte 118). Heathcliff is so stubborn that he is getting revenge on Hindley for the way he treated him as a child. It is selfish because he is corrupting the young boys mind for his own cruel and twisted benefit. He tells the boy that he should be able to do whatever he wants to do. Heathcliff tells Hareton this because he never had this freedom when he was that age and he wants him to have a better life. However, it is arrogant because he is being taught that cursing and throwing stones at people is okay. On a similar note, we see why Heathcliff turned out to be the man he is. Not only was his childhood a mess, but even his adult years are full of problems as well. He is always causing problems. For instance, after Edgar had found out about how Heathcliff and Elizabeth had eloped, he says that Elizabeth, "... Is now only (his) sister in name," (Bronte 143). Anywhere he goes, Heathcliff causes calamity. He splits up a family so bad to where Edgar and Cathy are angry with each other and also to where Elizabeth is disowned by her own brother. This is why I think Heathcliff grew up to be such a gruff and cruel man. He has to live with the tragedies that he has caused others.

Ross Skipper 9-12

At this point in the novel, Heathcliff is not able to marry Catherine because for her, it would be the equivalent of marrying a slave for her. Of course, these circumstances can be blamed on Hindley for his terrible treatment towards Heathcliff. In these chapters, the sour man who is all but satisfied that is the Heathcliff that Lockwood knows of begins to take form. One can not blame Heathcliff for what he has become as it was not under his control for the reasons why he could not marry the love of his life. Probably the first chronilogical event of Heathcliff intruding on other people's lives is when Hareton claims that Heathcliff is "the devil that teaches [him] to swear at daddy" (Brontë 118). A mindset in Heathcliff has now been created that he is excused to make everyone else's life just as bad as his because he did not get what he wanted. Another example of Heathcliff showing his jealousy and crudefullness is when he attempts to make Catherine jealous by pretending to be in love with Isabella. Although Catherine claims that if Heathcliff truly loves Isabella, then she would not have a problem with him being with Isabella. Obviously Heathcliff is once again taking an approach in a way that makes him appear as if he is angry at the world and wants to ruin everyone else's lives. When Heathcliff says, "I'm not your husband. You needn't be jealous of me" (Brontë 120), he is definitely trying to stir up a bad memory to Catherine just to once again make her feel as if it is her fault that the two are not married. Also, Heathcliff is hurting poor Isabella by allowing her to become caught in the crossfire of this tension as well as using her as an attempt to bring out the emotions of Catherine. Now, energy where Heathcliff goes, he is damaging everyone else around him which will leave a ripple effect of negative repercussions to everyone that steps in his path.

William Stout 13-16

In chapters thirteen through sixteen, we see Heathcliff's true feeling and intentions come out. We now know one hundred percent that his true love is Catherine, and that he is only using Isabella to tug at Catherine's emotions because he wants Catherine so badly. However, there is a switch from him trying to make Catherine feel guilty and jealous to an honest and selfless caring for the woman he dearly loves. For example, as Catherine's condition worsens, Heathcliff visits but Is forced to leave because Edgar returns from church. However as he leaves he says, "(he) shall stay in the garden, and nelly mind you to keep your promise tomorrow," (Bronte 175). Heathcliff refuses to leave Catherine's side; therefore, he waits in the garden and makes Nelly promise to inform him the next day. He stays outside the house until he receives the news that she had died in child birth. This is ultimately the start of Heathcliff's emotional downfall. In the peek of his love for Catherine, she dies prematurely. It is very understandable for Heathcliff to practice such a cruel and gruff persona. We also learn why Catherine's soul is not at rest at the beginning of the novel. Heathcliff directly says, "You said i killed you--haunt me, then," (Bronte 180). In truth Heathcliff wants her ghost to haunt him for the rest of his life, this is why he asks her to.

Ross Skipper 13-16

As seen over and over again in these past few chapters, Heathcliff has absolutely no true love for Isabella at all and most of his attention is focused on Catherine. Not only is Heathcliff completely directed towards Catherine in these three chapter, but he is also unfairly cruel to Isabella. Heathcliff basically puts Isabella in the place of her brother Edgar in chapter thirteen by choosing to punish her in Edgar's place because he is not there. Heathcliff blames the reason that Catherine is sick on Edgar and says that Isabella "should be Edgar's proxy in suffering" (Brontë 156). This unfair treatment and atttitude towards others was definitely a reoccurring theme for Heathcliff for several chapters until he is around the sickly Catherine when his attitude completely changes. This quick change definitely personifies the Byronic Hero in Heathcliff as he suddenly changes into the most caring man with a deep concern for his true love, Catherine. A passionate form of Heathcliff is suddenly born in the scene where Edgar comes home to find that Heathcliff is at Thrushcross Grange with Catherine and Heathcliff claims that he will and leave and that he "shall stay in the garden" Brontë 175). Another important quote is when Heathcliff is talking to Catherine at the beginning of chapter fifteen and this quote definitely explains the dreams/ haunting that have happened so far even more into detail. As Catherine is talking to Heathcliff she "wishes (them) never to be parted" (Brontë 171). This probably also explains Heathcliff's reaction to Lockwood's haunting when he seemed somewhat not surprised that Catharine's ghost was apparently there.

William Stout 17-20

In these past four chapters, Heathcliff's cruelty and viciousness jumps up to a whole new level. As he has wanted revenge on Hindley his entire life, there was no hesitation to attack when he was provoked. For example, as Heathcliff finally breaks into Wuthering heights after being locked out, he, "kicked and trampled on (Hindley)," (Bronte 191). Heathcliff has stored up all of that anger and it finally was able to be released on his original target, Hindley. For so long what hatred and anger he had for Hindley was actually felt by everyone surrounding him. Even when he is able to get his precious vengeance, it affects Isabella as well. She leaves Wuthering Heights because she is so incredibly traumatized by what she just had seen Heathcliff do to a man. When Isabella runs off Heathcliff does not pursue her in the slightest. To me it seems like a relief to Heathcliff when Isabella leaves him. It also completely proves that he never had any true love for her at any time in their distorted relationship. We also see Heathcliff's horrible character traits when he gets his son to live with him at Wuthering Heights. For example, when Heathcliff first greets his son, he says, "Your mother was a wicked slut to leave you," (Bronte 224). His son whom he hardly knows is only a mere child and he is forced to live with his barbaric and rude father. There is no love between the two and Heathcliff doesn't even try to fake his love to a scared and innocent boy. Heathcliff doesn't stop there, he calls the boys mother whom he loved dearly a wicked slut. Instead of trying to make his son's life better than his life, Heathcliff torments Linton just like Hindley tormented him.

William Stout 21-24

In these past few chapters Heathcliff did not have too much relevance to the development of the Story becuase it is mostly surrounding Catherine and Linton. However, he does still seem to be passive in his responsibilities as a new father. Although his son is weak and sickly and does not necessarily fit Heathcliff's idea of an ideal son, he still should treat him as family and as an important person in his life. He not only doesn't treat Linton as a loved son, but he, "had an antipathy to the sound of his voice and could not do at all with his sitting in the same room with him many minutes together," (Bronte 228). He can hardly stand to be in his son's presence. Even if you are disappointed in your son you should still love him for who he is even if he is a whimp like Linton. The only person he even remotely cares about is Catherine, and the only form of affection he shows her is giving Nelly and her permission to visit Wuthering Heights to see Linton. Honestly, when old Catherine was alive she was Heathcliff's reason for living, and now that she is gone, young Catherine is all he has left.

William Stout 25-28

Heathcliff has gone from bad to worse in these past few chapters. We now are sure that he does not care about anyone other than himself; not even Catherine. For example, Heathcliff is so enraged that Catherine stands up for herself and does not submit to him easily that he says to her, "Catherine, (your father's) happiest days were over when your days began,” (Bronte 297). Earlier the reader might have been under the illusion that Heathcliff actually cared about his son Linton and we found out that he despises him. I thought surely he cares about young Catherine

Because she is his love's daughter, but I was mistaken because he only uses her to manipulate her into marrying Linton. Even then, it is not for his son's benefit, it is for his own again. He wants to own Thrushross Grange to gain even more power and to show Edgar that he is superior and that Edgar is under his rule before he dies. Every little scheme that Heathcliff creates in his head is all to get back at those who wronged or threaten him. His heart is corrupted by vengeance and that is why he lives such a cruel and corrupted life.

William Stout 29-31

Heathcliff, sadly in these three chapters gets even more cruel and more twisted than ever before. I don't know how he could even be classified as any type of hero, Byronic or not, there is no good side to him. For example, when he is talking to Nelly before he makes the trip back to Wuthering Heights, he tells her that, "(He) got the sexton who was digging Linton's grave to remove the earth off of (Catherine's) coffin lid and I opened it," (Bronte 311). Heathcliff had a servant dig up Catherine's decaying body only to see her face. He later says that in his will he will order her body to be dug up again so that he can be laid next to her and not Edgar. When Nelly tells him that he should not meddle with the dead he says that catherine's ghost has been haunting him for eighteen years now. This statement just adds to the very well know fact that Heathcliff is very twisted and eerie in every aspect of his life. Also to add to his cruelty, he forces Catherine to stay at Wuthering Heights almost as a slave. She cannot leave Heathcliff's grasp even though Linton is dead. Heathcliff cannot even make himself treat Catherine's own daughter with respect.

William Stout 32-34

In these last few chapters, Heathcliff finally calms down in terms of his ridiculous cruelty. However, he does become involved in a fight with Catherine which almost compels him to strike her, "When of a sudden, his fingers relaxed...and he gazed intently in her face," (Bronte 347). For his entire life Heathcliff has only really cared about one thing: Catherine. However, as he fell deeper into his feat of grief, i noticed that every decision he made was based on how he could achieve vengeance and power over those who are in his life. However, this change we see in chapter thirty three, when Heathcliff finally chooses the righteous path proves that his dear Catherine still influences his actions. As he raised his hand to strike young Catherine, he saw Cathy in young Catherine's eyes, which inhibited him from striking the innocent girl. As the book comes to an end, so Heathcliff's life comes to an end. He begins to eat less and less as he begins to take on an introspective attitude where he resides in solitary for most of his day. He begins to act very creepy and interesting. He was heard murmuring catherine's name throughout the house. It is obvious he is nearing his death. Finally, Heathcliff is put to rest with his one wish granted--to be laid next to Catherine.

Ross Skipper 17-20

In chapters seventeen through twenty, Heathcliff becomes more and more violent as he attacks Hindley and ends up beating him severely. Although Heathcliff is said to be "half man: not so much, and the rest fiend" (Brontë 195), he is justified in his actions to some extent because he knew that Hindley was attempting to murder him. As these chapters progress, Hindley dies and Heathcliff becomes the owner of Wuthering Heights. Now that Heathcliff is now one of the lone men that is  completely in charge, his terror upon the household will increase even more viciously because he is now in charge of everybody and can make decisions that could ruin everyone else's lives around him just for the pure joy in getting revenge, even after his rival is now dead. Heathcliff also continues his revenge in a way by making Hareton basically the same role that Heathcliff was. Because Hareton is a direct descendant of Hindley, this is one of the few ways that he can still gain revenge on Hindley since he is dead; by gaining revenge on his offspring. Once again, Heathcliff acts as if he is attempting to treat everyone the way he was treated by saying that Linton is his property. Since Heathcliff was once property, he believes that he is justified by making other people so even when they did not do anything wrong.

Ross Skipper 21-24

Although much of this reading revolves around young Catherine and Linton, Heathcliff plays a role in still attempting to make everyone else miserable. He states at one point that "grief and disappointment hasten his death" (Brontë 253). Heathcliff sees the opportunity here to take a stab at Catherine and make her feel grief for Linton's condition that his death could very well be her fault to an extent. Now, Heathcliff is showing that he does not care at all about Linton and just wants to use him even to make other people's lives miserable as well.

Ross Skipper 25-28

One of the events that takes place in this reading is when Heathcliff decides that he wants to own Thrushcross Grange as well because of Edgar's near death as well as the possibility of Linton's death. Heathcliff uses fear to make Catherine come back to Wuthering Heights with him even when she is not allowed by her father and exclaims that Heathcliff "shall be (her) father tomorrow" (Brontë 294). By this Heathcliff means that Catherine must marry the frail Linton and Heathcliff is not going to allow Nelly or Catherine to leave until they are married. Once Nelly and Catherine are freed they return to the Grange to find out that Edgar is placing his will in the hands of someone other than Catherine which will make it harder for Heathcliff to own the Grange as well.

Ross Skipper 29-31

Once again, Heathcliff shows that he wants everyone to have a taste of their own medicine when he tells Catherine that she will have to work her way to be able to stay at Wuthering Heights. He even forces her to leave with him against her own will to go to Wuthering Heights. Also in this reading, Heathcliff acts in a strange behavior when he asks the man digging Edgar's grave to dig up Catherine so that he can see her face. He states that "he saw her face again" (Brontë 311). Even as strange as this is, he definitely has some sort of closure with Catherine, even though he will later be reunited with her ghost. Heathcliff also bribes the sexton to bury him next to Edgar.

Ross Skipper 32-34

As these last chapters progress, Heathcliff becomes less violent and more secluded and lonely. Brontë definitely is hinting that the end is near because Heathcliff is starting to become more at peace with himself and others. Heathcliff tells Nelly that "last night (he) was on the threshold of hell. Today (he) is within the sight of (his) heaven" (Brontë). This quote definitely means that Heathcliff has changed because he now realizes that once he dies, he will be with Catherine again. Nelly later find Heathcliff dead, after she hears him repeatedly whispering Catherine's name. Later in the last chapter, Lockwood hears rumors that Catherine and Heathcliff's ghosts are seen wondering the moors together. This is a sign that he is finally at peace and which was all he was ever waiting for in his life, which led to his cruelty that caused so much misery in other people's lives.