How does Emily Bronte make Heathcliff sympathetic in the story?
In Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff throughout out volume one is portrayed doing unpleasant actions, being unhelpful, he is seen as one of the darker characters in the novel and is often the person causing problems and creating tension and some of the darker aspects of the book; however there is always an element of sympathy for him which I am now going to explore in this essay.
Abandoned in Liverpool at a very young age, Heathcliff is found by Mr Earnshaw a Yorkshire gentleman who adopts him and brings him to his family on the moors of Wuthering Heights. He does not fit in and is seen as an outsider because of his appearance; Mrs Earnshaw describes him as a “gypsy brat” and the two children Cathy and Hindley do not accept him in the family because their father either lost or broke their toys on the way home. The fact he was abandoned, cannot initially speak the language then not fully accepted within the family and looked different makes the reader feel sympathetic towards Heathcliff because at this stage he is a victim of circumstances. And even the most honest and least cruel person in Wuthering heights Nelly dean admits she:”put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it might be gone on the morrow.” At the start of the novel Emily Bronte establishes the basis of the reader’s sympathy for Heathcliff before any details of his cruel behaviour are narrated by Nelly Dean.
Mr Earnshaw favours Heathcliff to his own children and this makes Hindley very jealous and makes him dislike Heathcliff even more. Following the death of Mr Earnshaw Heathcliff is abandoned for the second time and left in the hands of Hindley who treats him extremely poorly. This puts Heathcliff in a state of mind to think about deep hatred and has given him a passion for revenge. Hindley bans Heathcliff from a social life, an education and love as Nelly dean explains this treatment was:” enough to make a fiend of a saint.” He...