“Heathcliff Is Not a Villain in the Strictest Sense” Discuss.

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“Heathcliff is not a villain in the strictest sense” Emily Bronte’s presentation of Heathcliff and his villainy is integral to the narrative of ‘Wuthering Heights’. Heathcliff is a violent, dangerous, threatening and malevolent force throughout of the novel and he is certainly a villain. However, his violent acts are justified, and the strictest sense he is not a villain but rather an anti-hero. In Wuthering Heights Bronte indeed does portray Heathcliff as a villain, typical of the Gothic genre. This is done through a variety of techniques but the most effective is the visual imagery Bronte creates through the vivid descriptions of Heathcliff. References to Heathcliff such as “child of the storm” and the “imp of Satan” create allusions of deep horror and terror for the reader. From looking at the noun ‘storm’ to describe Heathcliff’s place of origin there is a strong sense that Bronte is using pathetic fallacy to both fore shadow the terror to occur at Wuthering Heights and also the destructive nature of Heathcliff. A storm is a destructive type of weather which has connotations of being cold and wet which is a trope of gothic literature used to display terrifying events. This is evident in Shelley’s Frankenstein where she uses the description of a “dreary night” when horrifying events are about to occur. There is also a sense of mystery involved through this description of Heathcliff’s heritage, the use of ‘storm’ demonstrates to the reader that he is perceived as not being human. This again is reminiscent to Frankenstein’s creature who had no clear heritage and was incidentally born during a storm. The similarities with Gothic monsters and Heathcliff does not end there. In Stoker’s Dracula the vampires are refered to as the “children of the night”. The close similarity here between Bronte and Stoker’s use of words demonstrates to the reader that they had a
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