Heathcliff is a character who is tormented by his love for Catherine and by his bitterness over his ill treatment by Hindley. Heathcliff has been treated as a favored son by Mr. Earnshaw, and then after Mr. Earnshaw's death, Hindley exacts revenge on Heathcliff by treating him as a base servant. Heathcliff feels further rage and bitterness when he overhears Catherine tell Nellie that she would be "degraded" by loving Heathcliff. He runs away, filled with hatred for all who have hurt him. When he comes back to Wuthering Heights, he comes back as master of the house, prepared to get revenge on his enemies. After Catherine's death, his bitterness intensifies, causing him to act vindictively and cruelly to the younger generation.