Why did Hindley Earnshaw dislike Heathcliff? Was he right in doing so?

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teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Heathcliff is an adopted son, brought back by the father from the streets of Liverpool. Hindley resents Heathcliff's intrusion into the life of the family and, more than that, is bitter and angry that his father makes a favorite of the younger boy. A rough model or paradigm for this might be the Biblical parable of the prodigal son. In this parable the older brother deeply resents the return of his younger brother, who comes home empty-handed and hungry after having wasted his share of the inheritance. In the prodigal son parable, the father is wise enough to smooth over the older son's resentments by reminding him that everything the father has is his, but a hallmark of the Earnshaws is family dysfunction, so Hindley never gets the paternal reassurance that would make life easier for him. 

Heathcliff is not a saint, and he uses the father's preference to his advantage. For example, Heathcliff forces Hindley to change horses with him when his own goes lame, but at the same time he did not set out to disrupt Hindley's life. It is natural and understandable that Hindley would have harbored resentment towards Heathcliff, but his degradation and abuse of Heathcliff when he inherits the estate is excessive and unwarranted. Hindley is driven to excess by grief over the early death of his beloved wife and then by his alcoholism.

monicaruntu | Student

Many of us know that  Heathcliff's intrusion into the family and his ability to "capture" Mr. Earnshaw's affection and attention was the source of Hindley's complex and inner conflict. But the dark-tanned boy was inocent... he was irresistible...even for the wild and independent Catherine. He became her metaphorical "whip" for the society, household rules and traditions. Hindley is guilty indeed,but, at the same time ,we may consider his hate and rejection toward Heathcliff as a means of family and self- protection. Maybe his intuition would have worked out the gloomy future as well as the irrefutable disaster !

kiaruchi | Student

bescause heathcliff was adopted and hindley feels like yhat every one was paying atencion to heathcliff and not to thim and he notice that cathy was more time with heathcliff than with him ,his real brother.no he wasnt right,so when hindley died haethcliff took revange with hindley son linton heathcliff maltrit him.he trate him like a animal and not like a human

 

i dont have a good writing because i am from argentina chubut but i ve´ read this book lot of times.

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Wuthering Heights

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