Is Heathcliff really a devil?

PosterĄG Jennifer at 21:12:54 4/28/98 from

Heathcliff does play an evil part in the story. He turned back to take revenge on the Lintons, Hindley, and Catherine. His anguish caused every body remain miserable, even the second generation is no exception. Before he came back from his wandering, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange were gradually cooling down and led a peaceful life. Catherine*s marriage was fine and Hindley*s wrath was not flooded as before. It seems that a normal and quiet life is coming, however, Heathcliff*s showing up again raised waves of love and hatred. Once Heathcliff was there, it*s impossible to live in peace. In this perspective, he is a satanic hero.
So when we first read the story, it*s easy to blame on Heathcliff. I especially feel angry when he forced Cathy to merry Linton and locked Nelly in a little room about four days and nights. How evil he is! But, is he really a devil? A satan?
One thing mysterious about him is his background. He is an intruder to Wuthering Heights from nowhere. In the very beginning, he is like a thorn in everybody*s eye. He is identified as a dirty, odd gypsy boy because he invaded into a class which he doesn*t belong to. Except his father, who loved him better than both Hindley and Catherine.
Heathcliff owned all his father*s love and was spoiled. The way he fought with Hindley for the horse gives great proof of his spoiled character. Since Hindley left home, he became closer and closer with Catherine. When his father died, the only one who loves him is Catherine. After Catherine married Edgar, as he said to Catherine, she murdered him. He lived without a soul then. Cathy, Catherine*s daughter, told him that, no body loves him, and no body weeps for him when he died. Toward the end, the inside of him seemed to be destroyed totally by hatred and revenge, only his figure remained. Perhaps by that time, only Hareton is with him. Unfortunately, Hareton is his enemy*s son whose love and respect toward him never being appreciated.
Those who loved Heathcliff both left him and since his childhood, he lived in threat and insult. Hindley as an older brother never treated him well, but as rough as he could. Then his company with Catherine was considered to be disgraceful. The Lintons looked down upon him. He got flogging frequently. All of these caused a bad effect on him.
Though he was not educated, he has his pride. When Catherine came back from Grange and addressed him as a dirty creature, he responded that he couldn*t bare being insulted and he was not going to wash himself or behave himself as a gentleman. How possible a person with that pride wouldn*t take revenge on his enemies? He keeps those in mind and wait for the right time to defeat them and ruin them forever.
When we think more about how much he suffered, we wouldn*t blame on him so much.
Heathcliff has good intention, too. When Nelly encouraged him not to be shameful of his appearance and background, he had positive will to make himself more civilized. However, his change was mocked by others and didn*t receive one compliment. Low class person as he is doesn*t have the right to reach the higher one and is not welcomed to do so. High class people don*t like to be transgressed.
From a social aspect, it*s not all Heathcliff*s fault to be revengeful and evil. Since he grew up in a cold family, prevented from educating and being oppressed, how could he live in a normal way and have a sound mind? Chances of being good are taken away from him. In that society, he is doomed to be a failure and miserable. It*s not surprising that he acts like a devil toward the end of the story.
Is Heathcliff really a devil? What makes him a devil? What would one turn out to be when in Heathcliff*s position? Indeed, Heathcliff has his own weakness of being impetuous, but other people around him have to account for most part of his evilness.


  • Re: Is Heathcliff really a devil? -- Kate Liu 14:41:32 5/11/98

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