Wuthering Heights

A Victim of His Environment

In Wuthering Heights, author Emily Bronte depicts Heathcliff, one of the main characters, as an incarnation of evil. Heathcliff is first introduced in the novel as the unpleasant, unwelcoming landowner of Wuthering Heights, and from this first impression, it is easy to believe that Heathcliff has possessed his evil qualities from birth. However, it is revealed later that Heathcliff has an extensive history with Wuthering Heights, and that there is evidence from his younger days that he was not originally a wicked person. Although it is believed by some that Heathcliff is evil by nature, Heathcliff, in all actuality, exhibits evil qualities such as ingratitude, cruelty, selfishness, and revenge purely as a result of the environment he was raised in and the manner in which he was treated by the other residents of Wuthering Heights.

In order to fully comprehend the extent of Heathcliff's immorality during the better portion of Wuthering Heights, it is best to first examine proof of Heathcliff's original, untainted behavior. When Mr. Earnshaw first brings Heathcliff home, it is mentioned that Mr. Earnshaw found him "good as dumb, in the streets of Liverpool, where he picked it up and inquired for his owner -- Not a...

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