Explore How Heathcliff Is Portrayed by Bronte

926 WordsNov 16, 20094 Pages
Explore how Heathcliff is portrayed by Bronte in Volume 1 of Wuthering Heights Bronte centres the novel on Heathcliff’s story. One of the first things Lockwood, the narrator, mentions is how he beholds Heathcliff’s “black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows”. Straight away the audience pick up on his mysteriousness as the gothic protagonist. The past is hidden deep inside the darkness of his eyes and is reflected in his physical appearance. One very confusing aspect of Heathcliff’s character is his social position, is he a gentleman or a gypsy? ‘Mr. Heathcliff forms a singular contrast to his abode and style of living. He is a dark-skinned gypsy in aspect, in dress and manners a gentleman.’ Here, Lockwood attempts to…show more content…
It is worth, therefore, noticing the significant difference in the two major properties in the novel. Working class people inhabited Wuthering Heights, while Thrushcross Grange was inhabited by those higher on the social ladder. When Heathcliff and Catherine “peek” through their window, it shows that they aspire to be on the same level, socially. Heathcliff aquires both and this symbolises his character. He has the façade of a “gentleman” of high social rank, but has the “gypsy” like demeanour. Heathcliff resides at Wuthering Heights, a place that is constantly bombarded by the “north wind”. This stormy surround can often emulate Heathcliff’s emotional anger at the betrayal of his beloved Cathy. Heathcliff represents a typical protagonist of the Romance genre at the time; internalised in his emotions and lonely but there is hope that he will ultimately becomes much more of a typical hero with the experience of love. Heathcliff, however, as much as the reader wants him to, never becomes this typical hero and has much the adverse effect from love. Heathcliff is further coupled with his residence with the description of the “narrow windows deeply set in the wall” that coincides with Heathcliff’s withdrawn “black eyes”. Bronte makes Heathcliff one with Wuthering Heights; both of them are cold, dark, and menacing, similar to a storm. As the novel moves on, the plot moves backwards in time. At first, we are
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