Character Analysis Of Heathcliff In Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights

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Emily Brontë 's Wuthering Heights features a character hyper-focused on retaliating against everyone who has ever wronged him. Stuck in a vicious cycle oriented around vengeance, Heathcliff perpetuates his own suffering by inflicting his woes upon his targets, especially Hareton. Incapable of letting his late brother 's past transgressions go, Heathcliff remains steadfast in his mindset to make Hindley suffer. However, as his brother is no longer alive, he settles for vitiating Hareton, taking great pleasure as he does so. Due to the atrocities Heathcliff experienced at the hands of Hindley, he feels the need to punish his nephew in retaliation for the offences of the boy 's father.Consequently, Heathcliff follows in Hindley 's footsteps, further…show more content…
From teaching him swear words to stunting his intellectual potential, Heathcliff stacks the odds against Hareton, forcing him into a life of hardship. He endures endless suffering at the hands of Heathcliff, yet he remains curious about the world around him. One of the first instances in which readers see Hareton begin to evolve occurs shortly after meeting Cathy, where he declares '[he] can read" the inscriptions above the door, only for her to call him a "dunce" when he is not able to read the numbers nearby (Brontë 239). Hareton 's first attempt to branch out into the world of intellectuals is met with taunts that leave him humiliated. Even though his strategy to impress Cathy backfires, Hareton 's mission to better himself sets him apart from every other character; he is changing, seeking out knowledge and acquiring his own ambitions. Although it is an unsuccessful attempt, Hareton 's effort demonstrates his desire for intellectual improvement. Not only would literacy provide more opportunities for him, it would allot him an opportunity to gain Cathy 's approval. As a dynamic character, readers recognize that this will be the first of many changes. Nevertheless, Hareton is still wounded by Cathy 's remarks, causing him to act rashly "with passion" as he disrupts Cathy and Linton 's time together (Brontë 240). While he acts similarly to Heathcliff at first, Hareton later apologizes, acknowledging his wrongdoings. His remorse distinguishes him from Heathcliff as he continues to develop emotionally, empathizing with those around him instead of continuing the ruin the lives of those around
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