Character Analysis Of Heathcliff In 'Wuthering Heights'

1130 Words5 Pages
Tracy Truitt
Mrs. Hunter
AP Literature
20 January 2018
The Downfall of Heathcliff Individual character motivation can lead to various different outcomes. Negative outcomes can range anywhere from discomfort, to the emotional, mental, and/or physical destruction of the character all together. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë depicts the eradication of multiple characters as a result of a single person’s inability to avoid the negative outcomes of his incentive. The protagonist, but also the antagonist, Heathcliff, dies from his decision in motivations. Heathcliff unwittingly focuses on his obsession with pride, and his selfish, unrealistic idea of love.

Wuthering Heights revolves around a forbidden love plot. The affection between Catherine
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Heathcliff displays himself to be the “...tyrant [that] grinds down his slaves and they don't turn against him; they crush those beneath them." (Brontë 106). Heathcliff’s idea of self-worth causes him to seek revenge and gain wealth through it. However, the “...revenge he subsequently takes seems out of all proportion to the wrong he has suffered.” (Cheetham 1). Heathcliff gains his wealth through Hindley as justice for the years of abuse and neglect Heathcliff endured from him. Heathcliff knew that Catherine was a witness to the mistreatment, therefore he targeted Hindley to make sure his triumph known to Catherine. Catherine’s actions towards Heathcliff’s behavior damaged him, and “...he grew bitter with brooding over these injuries.” (Brontë 55).

The psychotic, emotional, and damaging love plot in Wuthering Heights serves as a perfect example in why we should choose healthy motivations. Motivations should not damage the mind, weaken the soul, break the heart, or push a person to go to limits one cannot even begin to fathom. Motivation should an uplift a person from the reality we all live in, instead of pushing them deeper into a void of loneliness or oblivion. The most reliable motivations are ones who encourage a person to develop from
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