The first time we meet Heathcliff in the novel is through Lockwood’s narrative, where the character is presented in the first sentence of the novel. His renter had just returned from a visit to the Grange, and Lockwood describes him as a “solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with” and alludes to him being a skeptic. This is still fairly vague when compared to the abundantly broad statement: “A capital fellow!” and the fact that his tenant’s heart warmed towards him, leaving us with the false impression of an independant, but honorable man although we sense that there is a hidden malice lurking within his character. This malice is also emphasized by the manner in which his dialogs and interactions with Lockwood and the current inhabitants of the Heights are described throughout the novel. Heathcliff does not speak – he growls. He does not smile – he grins, and even sneers occasionally. In the tenants’ narratives, the use of adjectives such as “diabolical” certainly gives an added flamboyance to the reader’s interpretation of Heathcliff’s mannerisms. The effect of the negative and malicious diction is better enhanced by including his dogs in the scene with him so early in the novel, and thereby creating a co...
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...eance. This is Heathcliff in his most demonic aspect.
At this point of the novel, he has almost become exactly what he was expected to become from the beginning of his life at Wuthering heights . His cruelty and anguish has been irrefutably established through direct description, diction and violent tendencies, and now the narrator includes another dark aspect: the art of deception and planning ahead. This becomes obvious when he informs young Cathy, that his son Linton is heartbroken and won’t believe that she does not hate him after she is prevented by her father from sending him any more letters. In truth, it is Heathcliff who has told him he is hated, and the control he exerts becomes obvious when Linton is terrorized more and more by his father who lurks in the shadows controls how he behaves in front of Cathy, beating him nearly to death when he fails to obey.
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