Wuthering Heights Victim vs. Victimizer
Victim vs. Victimizer Readers often pity literary characters who play the role of a victim. In Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Heathcliff: an outsider brought into the wealthy Earnshaw household, Hindley: the eldest Earnshaw child with a strong dislike for Heathcliff, and Hareton: the orphaned kid Heathcliff takes in to raise, are victims, yet they progress to perpetuate the abuse they suffered. Having the ability to be or end up being a victim or victimizer reveal the intricacy of these characters. Emily Bronte manipulates readers to pity Heathcliff, Hindley, and Hareton, in spite of the ugly discomfort they inflict on others.
John Hagan states, “Wuthering Heights is such an exceptional work partly since it convinces us to by force pity victims and victimizers alike”. Though the reader is aware of the criminal activities against others at the hand of the abuser, the fact that the criminal was when a victim himself bore compassion. Jealousy fuels Hindley’s hatred for Heathcliff. Hindley’s dad, Mr. Earnshaw favors Heathcliff, an orphan found on the streets of Liverpool, over his child. Hindley’s sets out to make his adoptive sibling’s life a nightmare. Heathcliff threatens to inform Mr.
Earnshaw about the abuse he has been receiving from Hindley if he does not trade horses with him. Hindley says to Heathcliff, “be damned you beggarly interloper! and wheedle my father out of all he has; just afterwards reveal him what you are, imp of Satan” (Bronte 32). This reveals Hindley’s violent habits and unnecessary cruelty. Nevertheless, his victimizing personality is a result of the lack of attention he received from his daddy. Belittling Heathcliff is a method to manage the emotional hurt he experienced as a kid.
Hareton, Hindley’s boy, becomes a victim of his dad’s violence and addiction to alcohol and betting, which is an outcome of his better half’s death, Frances. Abuse of alcohol causes this habits and Hareton is almost dropped from a stairwell as an outcome. As Hindley holds his kid over the banister in an intoxicated rage, he says, “As sure as I’m living, I’ll break the brat’s neck” (Bronte 58). Hindley can not control his rage, and Heathcliff eats this weakness. As the novel advances, he loses numerous bets to Heathcliff, causing him to lose his property and belongings.
Now, Hindley is indebted to Heathcliff, causing him to hate Heathcliff a lot more, that make him drink more. In response to his loss, he says, “I will have it back; and I’ll have his gold too” (Bronte 110). The shift from victimizer to victim is a modification Hindley can not handle, yet the reader can comprehend and establish a supportive attitude towards his character. He becomes obsessed with the idea to kill Heathcliff, yet due to his absence of wealth and stature among the other characters, he can never ever follow through.
Hindley’s shift from victimizer to victim is among Emily Bronte’s techniques to make the reader, “condemn the sin, but pity the sinner”. The roles have actually been reversed, leaving Hindley, the initial master, with the exact same status as a servant, and Heathcliff, as soon as an orphan, with the master title. Heathcliff, a victim of both society and Hindley, seeks revenge versus his abuser, Hindley, and ends up being the victimizer. Prior to Heathcliff is presented to the Earnshaw’s, he is a victim of society.
He was homeless and deserted on the streets of Liverpool. With his dark skin and, “unclean, ragged, black [hair] (Bronte 29), Heathcliff is classified as an outsider and dismissed as an inferior. Hindley tortures Heathcliff out of jealousy for his dad’s attention. “Hindley threw [an iron weight, used for weighing potatoes and hay], striking him on the breast, and down he fell” (Bronte 31). The abuse Heathcliff endures as a kid is never forgotten and drives his desire to end up being master of both Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.
Heathcliff’s brutality towards his spouse, Isabella is an outcome of the heartbreak from Catherine. After she weds Edgar Linton, Heathcliff seeks vengeance on Edgar for taking the love of his life and marries his sibling, Isabella. In a letter to Ellen, she composes, “Is Mr. Heathcliff a guy? If so, is he mad? And if not, is he a devil?” (Bronte 106). Isabella questions Heathcliff’s humankind, revealing that Heathcliff uses his pain to sustain the damage he causes on others.
Hareton Earnshaw, a victim of Hindley, Heathcliff, and Cathy, defends himself, stunning the reader’s understanding of his character. Hareton is a victim of his daddy’s alcohol abuse and gaming dependency. These addictions are a result of Frances’ death and the reader becomes supportive towards Hindley; nevertheless, Hareton is the innocent victim affected by the absence of care from his daddy. Hareton is a toddler when Hindley holds him over the railing of a staircase, threatening his life. As soon as Hindley passes away, Heathcliff handles the obligation to take care of young Hareton.
He does not understand that he is being utilized as part of Heathcliff’s plan to get vengeance on Hindley for abusing him as a child. Heathcliff wants to keep Hareton oblivious and ignorant in an effort to deteriorate him. When explaining Hareton, Nelly, your home servant, says, “He appeared to have bent his malevolence on making him a brute: he was never ever taught to read or write; never ever rebuked for any bad habit which did not frustrate his keeper; never ever led a single action towards virtue, or secured by a single precept against vice” (Bronte 152).
Hareton is a victim to society due to the fact that he is kept an uncivilized and oblivious boy. The reader feels considerate towards him because he is made to be an inferior and is raised to be absolutely nothing more than a servant. The mistreatment Hareton gets from Cathy, Catherine’s child whom he establishes strong sensations for, trigger him to victimize her out of self-defense. Cathy insults Hareton, calling him “dog-like” and advising him of the time she made fun of his attempt to discover how to check out.
When Cathy hands him a book, Hareton, “flung it off, and muttered, if she did not give over, he would break her neck” (Bronte 237). His behavior towards Cathy is an outcome of the mental abuse he has actually received from her. Hareton defends himself and no longer wants to take insults that make him feel inferior. The reader gains a level of respect for Hareton due to his bravery and determination to develop himself as a well-respected man. His whole life, Hareton is utilized as a pawn in the video game of vengeance amongst Heathcliff, Hindley, Linton, and Cathy.
Bronte’s ability to manipulate the reader’s perception of different characters is remarkable, enabling each reader to establish their own opinions about the end of the novel. Hindley, Heathcliff, and Hareton possess the roles of both the victim and victimizer. Throughout the novel, the reader views the advancement of the 3 characters based on their actions and responses to various occasions and establishes viewpoints. Heathcliff, a victim of society and his stepbrother Hindley, turns into a violent man looking for revenge.
Hindley, a harsh figure filled with hatred for Heathcliff, ironically, loses his property and wealth to him in a series of bets. Hareton, a victim of every citizen of Wuthering Heights and the Grange lastly safeguards himself against Cathy’s cruel words. Emily Bronte’s manipulates the reader to neither appreciate, nor safeguard these characters, however to, “offer [them] our utmost compassion”. Works Cited Bronte, Emily, and Richard J. Dunn. Wuthering Heights. New York: W. W. Norton, 2002. Print. Hagan, John. JSTOR. N. p., n. d. Web. 19 Jan. 2013.