In the book Wuthering Heights Heathcliff is a brutal character, simply barbaric. Is there anything redeeming about him? Is his love for Catherine enough to make him not pure evil? Is he ever justified in his actions?
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I personally have never found anything redeeming in Heathcliff's character, albeit the circumstances of his childhood. It is easy to look at his character during childhood and feel empathy for his situation. Not to do so would be inhumane, as he like many others was only a child, a child born into poverty and "saved" from what might possibly have been a death sentence. I believe Mr. Earnshaw had nothing but the best of intentions. How could he know the treatment the boy would receive in his own home would be so cruel?
Hindley was jealous and garnered Heathcliff little more than abuse...... verbal, physical, and emotional. Heathcliff was different, different in looks and behavior. His appearance singled him out immediatley and unfavorably. He wasn't accepted in the home he been brought to, and he would never be accepted by the community. He was marked for failure from the start. Even gaining a fortune couldn't change the way he was seen or reap him acceptance.
Had Heathcliff married Catherine, he might possibly have found true happiness and been a different person. Note, Catherine's determination to marry someone who could keep her in the same circumstances she was accustomed to...... simpley made Heathcliff a plaything. I believe she like dangling him on a string, and that no matter what...... she still would have married Linton.