The Gypsy As A Dichotomy

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Since the arrival of Romani people to the British Isles, the figure of the Gypsy has been controversial by being an object of both fear and desire. The word ‘Gypsy’ evokes a series of images of people and their way of life. For some, Gypsies are synonyms of criminals and fortune-tellers, appearing as a threat for the civilization. For others, they remind a nomadic life in nature exempt from the restrictions of the settled society.
This dichotomy has categorized the Romani people as ‘the exotic other’, possessing, at the same time, the quality of foreigners and the idiosyncrasy of being autochthonous. As Epstein points out, "like the 'oriental' or the colonized, racially marked subject, the Gypsy was associated with a rhetoric of primitive desires, lawlessness, mystery (etc.) with freedoms from the repressions, both constraining and culture building of Western civilization." (3).
Their existence on the margins of British society goes back to the 16th century in a diversity of literary
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In the case of Heathcliff, he is a threat for the property of the family. The greatest example is the power he achieves by owning both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange. However there are other instances of him rearranging the property: for Catherine I, he takes the place of the whip she requested as a present from her father’s trip to Liverpool (Mr. Earnshaw lost it “in attending on the stranger” (32)). Furthermore, his existence in the family requests for sustenance, provoking Mrs. Earnshaw to react angrily asking her husband “How he could fashion to bring that gipsy brat into the house, when they had their own bairns to feed, and fend for?” (Emphasis added, 31). In addition, for Hindley, “Heathcliff [is] a usurper of his parent’s affections and his privileges” (33). Consequently, Hindley “grew bitter with brooding over these injuries”
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