1. What techniques are used in the characterization of Heathcliff? Effects?
Heathcliff is associated with evil and darkness from the beginning of the novel. "I felt his black eyes withdraw so suspiciously under their brows." (1) When Lockwood sees Heathcliff's garden (perhaps a symbol for Heathcliff) "the earth was hard with a black frost the air made me shiver through every limb." (6)
When we see Heathcliff when he is first brought into the Earnshaw household, he is immediately associated with evil, "though its as dark almost as if it came from the devil." (32) Mrs. Earnshaw gives orders to "wash IT and let IT sleep with the children." (32) The Earnshaws do not seem to consider Heathcliff human. When he is introduced to the family, the children learn that Mr. Earnshaw lost their gifts in order to bring Heathcliff home. This leaves a bad taste in Hindley's mouth that will not go away. "Cathy, when she learnt the master had lost her whip in attending on the stranger, she showed her humour by grinning and spitting at the little thing." (33)
Nelly says, "So, from the very beginning he bred bad feeling in the house; and at Mrs. Earnshaw's death, which happened in less than two years after, the young master had learnt to regard his father as an oppressor rather than a friend, and Heathcliff as a usurper of his father's affections and his privileges, and he grew bitter with brooding over these injuries." (34) From the first time Heathcliff is introduced, he is associated wit...
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...I admired the shining kitchen utensils, the polished clock, decked in holly, the silver mugs ranged on a tray ready to be filled with mulled ale for supper; and above all, the speckless purity of my particular care--the scoured and well-swept floor."
The two settings come to represent the characters who live in them, and the wild landscape of the moors comes to represent the love between Catherine and Heathcliff. Thrushcross Grange lies in a protected valley, and is surrounded by a stone wall that gives it a tranquil/civilized feeling. Wuthering Heights is on top of a hill, and is exposed to all elements of nature. Love at Thrushcross Grange is represented as tender affection, but has been criticized as having come from the head rather than the heart. At Wuthering Heights however, love is filled with true passion and a constant search for unity.
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