Heathcliff and Hareton Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights Essay

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Discuss the portrayal of Heathcliff and Hareton Earnshaw in WutheringHeights. Are they products of nature or nurture? I am going to look at the nature and nurture of both Hareton Earnshaw and Heathcliff, of Emily Brontë's 'Wuthering Heights', and try to decide whether these two characters are products of their nature or their nurture. A person's nature is the way they are born, their 'raw state of mind', the parts of their character unaffected by outside influence. A person's nurture is the way they are brought up, and they way they are influenced and shaped by society. The Lintons and Earnshaws are part of the Gentry class of Victorian England; they are both landowning families, fairly high up in the class hierarchy. But…show more content…
This is not necessarily entirely due to Heathcliff's nature; it could also be attributed to nurture. This suspicion could be due to his cruel treatment as he was growing up; by Hindley especially, teaching him to trust no-one. This effect of nurture could also explain why Heathcliff doesn't welcome Lockwood into his house, or apprehend the dogs when they attack him. Heathcliff is looked upon favourably by Lockwood at first, he says he is a 'capital fellow', but this opinion changes as Lockwood is subject to Heathcliff's cruel and cold hearted attitude. He describes Wuthering Heights as being 'completely removed from the stir of society' and 'a perfect misanthropist's heaven': he soon realises that Heathcliff could be described in similar ways, especially after he is refused a guide home in a storm and is attacked twice by Heathcliff's dogs. Lockwood changes his mind about Heathcliff being a capital fellow; he goes on to describe him as a 'rough fellow' to Nelly Dean, who replies, 'The less you meddle with him the better'. It is a possibility that nurture doesn't affect Heathcliff greatly, and that he has an evil nature affecting how he treats other characters. An example of this is when he marries Isabella out of spite, and treats her in a very violent way: although this gives an insight into how Heathcliff's nature

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