Heathclif Heathcliff In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights

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One of the most notable acts of extreme behaviour is when Heathcliff has Cathy’s grave uncovered. Bronte manipulates the contextual fears surrounding disturbing the dead; in the early 19th century it was believed that disturbing the dead would result in being haunted or possessed. Although this would have caused fear in an early 19th century, this is actually what Heathcliff desires most as it means he will be with Cathy again. Hence, a contextual reader may consider Heathcliff quite a perverse character as he is longing for something so vile. Heathcliff actions are highlighted as abnormal by Nelly’s exclamation: ‘Were you not ashamed to disturb the dead?’. Bronte employs a question to highlight that Heathcliff is an outsider to the norms of society.…show more content…
I opened it’. The gothic trope of madness is explored through his simple sentences. Heathcliff’s simple sentences accentuates his monomaniac obsession with Cathy. Gothic literature is often concerned with a character’s descent into madness as it plays on the motif of lack of control. Little was known about mental health in the early 19th century and those considered ‘mad’ were simply locked away in madhouses secluded from society. This could relate to a fear of the unknown as the general population did not know what happened in mad-houses. A film adaptation by the BBC highlights Heathcliff’s insanity by first showing Heathcliff’s perspective of the situation and then reality. This emphasises Heathcliff’s extreme behaviour and avoidance of normality. Overall, Bronte creates the character of Heathcliff as a character without

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