In "Wuthering Heights", what do the names of the characters (Heathcliff - Lockwood) and names of the families (Earnshaw - Linton) symbolize?
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Heathcliff: The English heath moors were considered a wild, haunted, unforgivable and untamable landscape, and that fits very well with Heathcliff's character.
Lockwood: one of the two narrators of the book, he is a different take on the story. He has a very skewed persepective, and "several critics have remarked on his name as hinting at a 'locked or closed mind.'" His sometimes rigid misconceptions could be symbolized in his name.
Earnshaw: The name itself could refer to the family's tendency to prefer wealth and status over other things. Catherine marrires the more "established" Linton, and Hindley is only kind to Heathcliff in the end to try to get money from him. They emphasize "earning" over other things. The Lintons however, had wealth, and didn't need such an obvious name to indicate it. It just needed to be a refined, fine-sounding name to represent their wealth and stature.
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