Emily Bronte, in her novel Wuthering Heights, characterizes the protagonist Heathcliff as both a recipient and a perpetrator of the continually domineering forces of both love and revenge existing within the novel. Through complex interrelationships between all of the characters, the two forces culminate to synthesize an atmosphere of fear, hate, and confusion in the contained universe between Thrushcross Grange and Wuthering Heights, and simultaneously emphasize Bronte's indictment of a man who allows the normally sanguine force of love to recklessly control an utterly pernicious desire for revenge.
As Nelly's account of the events at Wuthering Heights begins, the conflict that Catherine and Heathcliff's relationship brings to the surrounding characters quickly becomes apparent. Mr. Earnshaw, as Heathcliff's adoptive father, is the only character except Catherine who sees Heathcliff as a positive influence. Hindley detests Heathcliff for being the object of the majority of Mr. Earnshaw's affection, as Nelly describes, "...the young master [Hindley] has learnt to regard his father as an oppressor rather than a friend, and Heathcliff as a usurper of his parent's affections..."(p.27) and...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 932 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7487 literature essays, 2119 sample college application essays, 310 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in