Heathcliff’s childhood at Wuthering Heights all began when the master of the manor, Mr. Earnshaw, brought the orphan boy home. Mr. Earnshaw was scolded by his wife about bringing the “gipsy brat into the house”. He then expressed to his wife, “…he thought it better to take it home with him at once, than run into vain expenses there; because he was determined he would not leave it as he found it” (p.36). Heathcliff doesn’t seek revenge towards his new “parents”, plus their presence in the novel was short lived.
However, Mr. and Mrs. Earnshaw’s children, Catherine and Hindley, weren’t too fond of Heathcliff becoming a new addition of the family. Hindley in particular didn’t like Heathcliff; he mistreated him by hitting on him and with verbal harassment as well. Over a course of time Heathcliff became Mr. Earnshaw’s “favorite” and this infuriates Hindley. With Heathcliff taking Hindley’s place, he was then sent off to boarding school. Revenge towards Hindley wasn’t thought of until Hindley’s arrival back from boarding school.
The event of Heathcliff taking Hindley’s place then leads to his suffering at the relentless hands of Hindley, and it is the treatment dished out by Hindley to Heathcliff after the death of Mr. Earnshaw that sparks in Heathcliff a deep and burning hatred and an intense passion for revenge. As the mistreatment of Heathcliff by Hindley then continued, Hindley ended up forcing Heathcliff to become part of the working clas...
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...ached death and closer towards his reunion with Catherine, his desire for revenge dissolved until he longer cred to avenge the miscreants how did him wrong. “I have lost the faculty of enjoying their destruction” (p.308)
Heathcliff’s mistreatment during his period of childhood and adolescence shapes the whole work of this novel. Due to his mistreatment he felt the need to seek revenge. Heathcliff was a character of many faces; he had a capacity for love but was still driven by revenge. But revenge overshadowed his all-consuming love for Catherine. His willingness to let revenge consume him was one of his character flaws. But without his need for revenge, the story would not hold as much literary value as it does. Objectively revenge can cause a work/novel to be illuminated, but scenically it turns the one who seeks vengeance within the story into a different person.
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