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Character portrayal of Heathcliff in the Wuthering Heights

            The elaborate contradictory structure surrounding the main protagonist, Heathcliff, of Emily Bronte's tragic romance, Wuthering Heights', subtly evokes the empathy of those who read, causing:- "an unreclaimed creature, without refinement, without cultivation: an arid wilderness of furze and whinstone- p.163 to become heroic, through his passionate devotion to Catherine using the empathetic, Bildungsroman structure of the novel to enhance our admiration for him. Bronte creates a deep, entangled romance, twisting our emotions using the views and traits of the many characters to influence the plot, forming an extremely convincing novel. Both Nelly Dean, and Lockwood are key narrative characters in the plot, but their different upbringings and social status allows us to dismiss certain comments and remember others. Our first encounter with Heathcliff is as a mature adult, and related by Lockwood. The portrayal of Heathcliff is that of a suspicious, rude, unmannered man, with a dark air of mystery and evil. Yet, Lockwood described him as a "gentleman-, saying: "he has an erect and handsome figure- p.6. As the novel moves on, the plot moves backwards in time, using the unusual, ghostly experiences of Lockwood in the initial chapters, as a page turner, making us eager to read on. From the very beginning of the novel, Bronte creates great sympathy for the: "dirty, ragged, black haired child- p. 57 known to the Earnshaws only as "Heathcliff-, as he spent his childhood as an orphan in the streets of Liverpool. This is already gently forcing us to subconsciously, forgive Heathcliff for any following mistakes he may make. Once adopted into the Earnshaw family, Mr. Earnshaw strongly favoured him over his daughter, Catherine, and son, Hindley. However, this continual devotion soon sparked anger and jealousy. Hindley grew to despise Heathcliff, taunting, and beating him whenever the opportunity arose.

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