Villainy In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

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Villainy in Wuthering Heights In Emily Bronte’s gothic romance Wuthering Heights, there is no true hero or villain as several if not all character’s display a duality in nature, having both heroic and villainous attributes. Nonetheless, villainy is a prevalent characteristic in Heathcliff, his villainous nature ultimately leading to his downfall. Bronte’s novel centers on the tempestuous characters of Catherine Earnshaw, a young headstrong girl in love with her childhood friend Heathcliff, a young orphaned boy whose parentage is unknown and is told through Nelly Dean, whose mother was a servant at Wuthering Heights, where Heathcliff, Catherine, and her brother Hindley were raised. Furthermore, Heathcliff allows …show more content…
After hearing Catherine mock Isabella Linton, her placid and naïve sister-in-law, for her being in love with him, Heathcliff uses this knowledge to his advantage, saying, “…thank you for telling me your sister-in-law 's secret: I swear I 'll make the most of it…” (11). Moreover, Heathcliff “makes the most of it” by devising a plan to beguile Isabella using her naïveté to fool her into believing he reciprocates her feelings for him although he despises her describing her as “that mawkish, waxen face” (105). Catherine’s outburst enables him to see a route to vengeance: he plans to marry Isabella both for her fortune and to spite Catherine and Edgar, who would never approve of Heathcliff as his sister’s husband. Nonetheless, while Heathcliff believes that this marriage will bring him happiness by thwarting Catherine and Edgar, and therefore having vengeance both he and Isabella end up miserable. Once marrying her, Heathcliff drops all pretense of love, treating her to a life of solitude and desolation, as Isabella laments, “[Heathcliff] promis[ed] that I should be Edgar 's proxy in suffering…. I do hate him - I am wretched - I have been a fool” (143). Heathcliff selfishly deceives Isabella, taking advantage of her innocent love for him, and as Isabella retorts “I gave him my heart, and he took and pinched it to death, and flung it back to me” (169). He uses and Isabella cruelly in his ploy for vengeance as if she were not a human being herself but simply a means to an end, completely disregarding her sentiments and happiness. Therefore, in this depraved act leaving Isabella bereft of all happiness, separating her from her home and her family ensnaring her in loveless marriage, and secluding her in the cold desolation of Wuthering Heights, he

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