Does Heathcliff suffer or does he inflict suffering?

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Payal Khullar | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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Actually, both are true. Heathcliff suffers and inflicts suffering. Heathcliff harbors a deep-seated pain. He passionately loves Catherine, who marries not him but Edgar Linton. And if that was not enough! Catherine dies and he becomes a monster, a tormented soul. He suffers all throughout the novel because of his unfulfilled wish to be with Catherine. In this way, he is an atypical Byronic hero, who is a hero with a dark, antagonistic side. Separation from and then death of his love brings about his destructive, revengeful side.

Now since it's Edgar and Hindley who, for him, are responsible for his separation from Catherine, he plots against them. He marries Edgar’s sister Isabella and tortures her to inturn cause suffering to Edgar. He cleverly takes Wuthering Heights from Hindley and makes his son Hareton lead a servant life after his death. He kidnaps young Cathy to acquire Edgar's property.


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