Heathcliff's Early Character

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Original Depiction by Nelly

"He seemed a sullen, patient child; hardened, perhaps, to ill treatment"

  • Nelly is unsure of him- use of verb seemed
  • Tricolon- shows his nature and hints at his past
  • sullen- can take beatings, perhaps reflecting his past
  • Patient- reflects his later wait to get revenge

Development as a child

"The young master being negligent how they behaved"

  • juxaposition- would not think a master young
  • negligent- adjective to describe his parenting style- leaves Heathcliff and Cathy alone
  • Also reflects Nelly's nature- gossipy and condescending
  • Use of plural "they"- highlights Heathcliff and Cathy's connection at a young age

Treatment From Hindely

"[Hindely's] treatment of [Heathcliff] was enough to make a fiend of a saint"

  • fiend/saint- reflects Heathcliff's two sides
  • Oxymoron- shows the effect Hindely had on Heathcliff and suggests it was treatment by him that led Heathcliff to be so bitter

Society's Reaction

"Frightful thing! Put him in the cellar, Papa!"

  • Fricative alliteration- suggests her higher class
  • Use of exclamative highlights her horror at him
  • Also shows she has been educated- French
  • Refers to Heathcliff as "thing"

Anger and Short Temper

"He seized a


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