Taking in Heathcliff

In Chapter 4 of Wuthering Heights, Mr. Earnshaw returns from his trip to London with the child who becomes Heathcliff, saying that he wouldn’t leave the boy as he found him. Why do you think Mr. Earnshaw brought Heathcliff home with him from London? Do you think that if Mr. Earnshaw had known what would become of Hindley, Heathcliff, and Cathy in the decades to come that he would still have brought Heathcliff home with him? How likely is it that Hindley and Cathy might not have lived “happily ever after” even if Heathcliff hadn’t been around?

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One response to “Taking in Heathcliff

  1. These are great questions! Earnshaw didn’t care for Hindley and, I believe, is looking for a surrogate son in Heathcliff. He knew it would lead to turmoil in the household. I think he wanted to torment his son. He succeeded nicely.

    Hindley and Cathy were disturbed long before Heathcliff appears. And Hindley wastes no time abusing Heathcliff, almost from the very start of their acquaintance.

    With or without Heathcliff Hindley and Cathy would have led dysfunctional, destructive lives. Of course, when the moment finally arrives, Heathcliff out-matches their cruelty.

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