Someone has asked this question about the main character in Wuthering Heights.  Heathcliff 是邪惡的人嗎??
那身為讀者的我們會去同情他嗎??

 

I like that literature a lot.  It was the 2nd literature that I read when I was 11 years old studying abroad.  My first one was: Little Women.  My 3rd one was: Jane Eyre.  There were more, but I like them the most because they were the first three.  They had a profound meaning and influence to my later readings.    

 

Below is my thought based on my vague memory of what I had read in the past.

 

I don’t know if you can truly say that Heathcliff is an evil person.  His personality was molded by the people around him.  I would say that he was rather innocent and pitiful.  Though his behavior is not condoned by me, I do feel sorry for him and pity him. 

 

Mr. Earnshaw’s strong love for him caused other members of the family to treat him poorly as an outsider and as a servant to be looked down upon, especially after his father’s death.  He kept everything inside himself and his hatred towards the rest of the family grew as well.   

 

Later, Heathcliff was obsessed with his love for Catherine.  He loved her more than his life.  They had a powerful emotional bond together, something that he had never experienced before because he had never been loved like this before.  Catherine was a wild child and her every emotion dictated Heathcliff’s every move, which somehow inspired the wild and frightening joy in him as well.

 

His personality turned darker from the humiliation he got from Edgar and Hindley and when his only love, Catherine, turned to Edgar, a man with power, money and class, and indicated that she could not marry him because it would reduce her social class. 

 

We can feel the solitude within Heathcliff when Mr. Earnshaw passed away and left him in the hands of Hindley and when Catherine married Edgar ignoring his lover for her, even though she was deeply in love with him.

 

Sometimes, it is hard for some people to turn bad situations into positive or good.  In this case, Healthcliff was tragic not to have met someone who could bring him back to the right path. 

 

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