Wuthering Heights
Emily Brontë
Contributed by Karim Chandra
Character Analysis

Heathcliff was a homeless orphan boy that Earnshaw met on his way back from Liverpool. Earnshaw introduced the boy to his family and gave him the name Heathcliff. Heathcliff was a name for a deceased son to Earnshaw. Earnshaw preferred Heathcliff to his son Hindley. Hindley hated Heathcliff. Cathy was a childhood friend of Heathcliff. The hatred of Heathcliff by Hindley surfaced when he forced Heathcliff to be a servant upon the death of his father, Earnshaw. Healthcliff suffered humiliation, violence, and prejudice. Heathcliff downgraded from an adopted son to a servant. Cathy broke Heathcliff heart by marrying a wealthy neighbor, Edgar Linton of the same social standing. Heathcliff ran away. He came back wealthy and handsome after three years absence. Heathcliff was a bitter man and wanted revenge over humiliation he experienced before. Heathcliff terrorized many people. His love for Cathy was extreme. Cathy died during childbirth. Heathcliff gave up vengeance after he stumped upon Hareton and Catherine relationship. Healthcliff died a disappointed man unable to execute his revenge plan.


She was Heathcliff’s childhood friend. Cathy was ill-tempered. She married Edgar Linton against her own will; her heart belonged to Heathcliff. She died giving birth. Cathy memory haunted Heathcliff in life becoming a motivation for revenge from childhood affliction. Cathy was jealous she could not provide Isabella and Heathcliff peace. Cathy was manipulative; she used people to land opportunities. Cathy is a heroine as well as a victim. She is responsible for breaking the relationship with Heathcliff. She truly loved Heathcliff, but could not decide to follow her heart. Her marriage to Edgar was intellectual; it lacked passion and energy. Cathy had a complex personality.


Catherine differed in temperament compared to her mother, Cathy. Catherine loved, was kind and even-tempered. Catherine lived with her father, Edgar at Thrushcross Grange. Catherine despised her cousin Hareton for being an uneducated servant. She was surprised that Hareton was her cousin as well as a servant. Catherine was a caregiver who nursed Mrs. Dean, Edgar, and Linton. Linton, who was sickly, married Catherine. Upon Linton death, all her inheritance was taken away by Heathcliff. Loneliness forced Catherine to seek company in her cousin, Hareton. While teaching her Cousin Hareton to read and write, Catherine and Hareton fell in love. When Heathcliff died, the family wealth restored to Hareton and Catherine. They owned Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.

Mrs. Dean

Mrs. Dean is a storyteller in Wuthering Heights. She lived at the time and knew the history of Heathcliff which she narrated to Mr. Lockwood. Mrs. Dean was a foster sister as well as a servant. She grew up with Cathy, Hindley, and Heathcliff. Mrs. Dean was a central character in the novel that joins Hareton, Cathy, and Catherine. She was a confidant to Cathy. Mrs. Dean played different roles as a mother, protector, judge and conscience of the novel's characters . Mrs . Dean was a servant like other servants who kept their masters in good health and informed . The servants were entirely loyal while the masters were judgmental . The servants prefer to give information as a duty . The relationship maintained as master and servant are social positions and respected as that .


Edgar was described as snobbish. He later transitioned to a kind gentleman as an adult. He became the master of Thrushcross Grange. Edgar married Cathy and remained loyal to her. Edgar had differences with Heathcliff because of jealousy emanating from their love for Cathy.  Edgar was very protective of his family; he preferred leaning towards social classes than extending a hand to Heathcliff.  He stayed God fearing even after the loss of his wife, Cathy. Edgar was apprehensive of what Heathcliff could do in taking over Thrushcross Grange ownership out of revenge. Edgar protected his daughter until his death.


Hareton’s mother died giving birth; leaving the father in prolonged mourning. Hareton was mentored by Heathcliff disliking the trapping of wealth and high society. He lived a humble live unknown to him of his heritage as a socialite. When Hareton met Catherine, she despised him for his lack of education, as fate would have it the two fell in love. Catherine teaches Hareton to read and write as they live together in Wuthering Heights. Hareton inherited wuthering heights property upon the demise of Heathcliff. Hareton recovered his social status. The novel gives the reader a glimpse of what to expect without giving many details.


Hindley disliked Heathcliff with a passion. He forced Heathcliff to servitude, suffering from physical violence and prejudice. Hindley treatment motivated hurt Heathcliff to seek revenge out of bitterness. He was behind Heathcliff vengeance plan. When Hindley’s wife died, he lost faith in God and became an alcoholic and an abusive dad. He lost Hareton’s love and Wuthering Heights property (inheritance) to Heathcliff through gambling. Hindley could not comprehend how a former servant was now a master in his community. This character had an opportunity to assist people to start a new life, instead of the violence and mistreatment that he chose towards Heathcliff.

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