Far Those endowed with what is loosely

 Far for being only a novel about hypocrisy and social classes inequality
in Victorian times, Wuthering Heights
by Emily Brontë also take into consideration the problem of Otherness which
involves an ‘outsider’, ‘a person who is, in some respects, above and ‘outside’
the society in which he or she lives. There have always been the
unconventional, the eccentric and the egregious. Those endowed with what is
loosely known as genius.’ (Cuddon 503). In Brontë’s novel the Other is
represented by Heathcliff, the orphan brought in an Victorian family in which
he can’t adapt. As Karl claimed, Emily Brontë has moved to the periphery of
society to delineate people who survive by passion alone (147). Therefore, the
aim of this essay is to present some of the features of construction of the
otherness in Brontë’s novel relation with Heathcliff’s figure.

Heathcliff is the typical
Victorian orphan. He is alone, without having a name or a past, and his
appearance contrasts with the elegancy of the typical Victorian family:
‘darkskinned like a gypsy, morose, brutish, diabolical, sullen, a kind of
Byronic misanthrope with a great capacity both to love and to hate. He exists
on the edge of humanity, a marginal or underground figure who becomes a
personification of energy, the spirit of the moors, an antagonist of
civilization’ (Karl 147). At least he has a protector, Mr. Earnshaw, but he is
rejected by the rest of the family. 
‘Everyone refers to him as “it”; and Nelly, the children, and
Mrs. Earnshaw would all like him to disappear’ (Paris 243). He gradually gains
a place in the family, because of Mr. Earnshaw protection and his friendship
with Cathy, but he remains object of hostility. Moreover, as Shapiro suggests,
he is given only a first name and not a last name to emphasize that he could
never become part of the family (286). Also, he is named after  a child who died, a name that placed him into
another world and forced him to be the symbol of ‘the contrast between the
Other World and This World’ (Karl 154). In addition to his peculiar appearance,
Lockwood’s description at the beginning of the novel advocates Heathcliff’s
demonism. The very reserved Lockwood describes him as “a man who seemed
more exaggeratedly reserved than myself” (Chapter I). In addition to his
exaggerated withdrawal, Heathcliff displays extreme forms of aggression and
compliance (Paris 243).

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