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Wuthering Heights- The Development of Heathcliff’s Character

Wuthering Heights- The Development of Heathcliff’s Character



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Published by missdzaja
Seminar paper on Wuthering Heights
Seminar paper on Wuthering Heights

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Published by: missdzaja on Oct 29, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Heathcliff arrived in the Earnshaw family by accident. Mr. Earnshawfound a boy who looked like a gypsy and had been apparently abandoned on thestreets of Liverpool. He brought the child home with him, to join his own family.He named the boy after his son who had died. All the members of the householdwere opposed to the introduction of a strange boy, especially the Earnshawchildren, who detested the darked-skinned Hindley. But Catherine quickly comesto love Heathcliff, and soon they become inseparable, spending days playing onthe moors. After his wife’s death, Mr. Earnshaw grows to prefer Heathcliff tohis own son, and when Hindley continues his cruelty to Heathcliff, Mr Earnshawsends Hindley away to college, keeping Heathcliff nearby.Three years later, Hindley returns home after his father’s death toinherit Wuthering Heights and brings a wife with him. Hindley seeks revenge onHeathcliff. Once an orphan, later a pampered and favored son, Heathcliff nowfinds himself treated as a common labourer, forced to work in the fields.However, he continues his close relationship with Catherine. One night theywander to Thrushcross Grange, hoping to tease Edgar and Isabella Linton, thecowardly, snobbish children who live there. Catherine is bitten by a dog and isforced to stay at the Grange to recover for five weeks. By the time shereturns, she has become infatuated with Edgar, and her relationship withHeathcliff grows more complicated.Hindley’s wife dies after the birth of their son Hareton, and Hindleydescends into the depths of alcoholism, and behaves more cruelly and abusivelytoward Heathcliff. Catherine’s desire for social advancement prompts her tobecome engaged to Edgar Linton, despite her overpowering love for Heathcliff.Heathcliff runs from Wuthering Heights, staying away for three years, andreturning shortly after Catherine and Edgar’s marriage.
When he returns, he immediately sets about seeking revenge on all whowronged him. He lends large amounts of money to the drunken Hindley, knowingthat Hindley will increase his debts and fall into deeper despondency. WhenHindley dies, Heathcliff inherits the manor. He also places himself in line toinherit Thrushcross Grange by marrying Isabella Linton, who he treats verycruelly. Catherine gets ill, gives birth to a daughter, and dies. Isabella flees toLondon and gives birth to Heathcliff’s son, named Linton after her family.Isabella dies thirteen years later, and Linton comes to live with hisfather, who treats his sickly, whining son even more cruelly than he treated hismother. Three years later, young Catherine meets Heathcliff on the moors, andmakes a visit to Wuthering Heights to meet Linton. She and Linton begin asecret romance, but it soon becomes evident that Linton is pursuing Catherineonly because Heathcliff is forcing him. Heathcliff forces Catherine to marryLinton, who dies very shortly afterwards. Edgar is also dead. Catherine is forcedto live as a common servant at Wuthering Heights, while Thrushcross Grange isrented to Mr. Loockwood.Although Catherine originally mocked Hareton’s ignorance and illiteracy(in an act of retribution, Heathcliff ended Hareton’s education after Hindleydied), Catherine grows to love Hareton as they live together at WutheringHeights.. Heathcliff becomes more and more obsessed with the memory of theelder Catherine, to the extent that he begins speaking to the ghost. Everythingreminds of her. Shortly after a night spent walking on the moors, Heathcliffdies. Hareton and Catherine plan to be married, and they inherit WutheringHeights and Thrushcross Grange after Heathcliff’s death. 

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