Dracula Wuthering Heights

1191 Words 5 Pages
From his introduction Heathcliff is presented as the antithesis of conventional Victorian British societal features and behavior. The initial description that is given of Heathcliff is one of a “… dirty, ragged, black-haired child…it only stared round, and repeated over and over again some gibberish that nobody could understand. I was frightened, and Mrs. Earnshaw…did fly up, asking how he did fashion to bring that gipsy brat into the house… (Brontë pg. 57).
Heathcliff’s presentation to the Earnshaw family immediately establishes him as a deviation from traditional societal standards. Heathcliff’s clear racial and ethnic differences instantly mark him as the “other.” The hostile reaction that Heathcliff instantly receives from the Earnshaw
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Early in the novel, when Hindley expresses outrage towards Heathcliff for taking his colt, he states “‘Take my colt, Gipsy, then!’ said Young Earnshaw. ‘And I pray that he may break your neck: take him…and wheedle my father out of all he has: only afterwards show him what you are, imp of Satan” (Brontë pg. 62). In this passage, Hareton labels Heathcliff as both a supernatural presence and a threat of usurpation. Hareton’s verbal attack against Heathcliff relates to both Heathcliff’s race and his folkloric similarities. Hareton identifies Heathcliff as a supernatural hindrance by expressing his worry that Heathcliff will replace him, similarly to the changeling tradition. Hareton’s hostility towards Heathcliff can also be attributed to his own preconceptions about Heathcliff’s racial identity. Hareton refers to Heathcliff as a “gipsy,” a member of a group of people that “…in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights appears in contrast as a demonic figure for the countercolonization of memory and the erosion of Western identity under ‘native’ influence.” (Trumpener pg. 871). When Hareton accuses Heathcliff of “wheedling [his] father out of all he has,” he is not only attacking Heathcliff for replacing him in his father’s affections and jeopardizing the Earnshaw family dynamic, he is also expressing that he views Heathcliff as a threat to his society as a …show more content…
For instance, when Isabella flees Wuthering Heights to Thrushcross Grange and recounts Heathcliff and Hindley’s duel to Nelly, she describes Heathcliff as having “…hair and clothes…whitened with snow, and his sharp cannibal teeth, revealed by cold and wrath, gleamed through the dark” (Brontë pg. 283). Isabella’s description of Heathcliff is an intriguing allusion to Heathcliff’s ethnicity. “Francis Hindes Groome’s…Gypsy Folk-Tales mentions that gypsies were frequently associated with in Britain and elsewhere with cannibalism and abominable cruelty…” (Stewart). Isabella’s characterization of Heathcliff as a cannibal associates him with mythical and disparaging stereotypes that surround his ethnic

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