Wuthering Heights first appeared in May 1846, but it was not the great success it is today, as the book did not sell many copies, following this Emily Bronte along with her sisters sent their novels and poetry along to publishing houses where it was published properly. They deceived the public at first by using pen names, because at that time women were not seen as intelligent or capable enough to write such a novel. The audience of this book would have been upper class, as they would have been the only people who could afford books, and also be able to read them.
The public reaction to Wuthiering Heights were fairly mixed for example, these are extracts from magazines or newspapers at the time of Wuthering Heights publishing: New Monthly Magazine from January 1848 “Wuthering Heights by Ellis Bell is a terrific story” on the other hand: The examiner, 8 January 1848 “it is wild, confused, disjointed and improbable; and the people who make up the drama…are savages.”
The law has changed considiberally from the time set in the book, and this is important when reading the book as Heathcliff’s revenge revolves around the laws at the time reflecting how wrong they were, which results in Heathcliff an uneducated cuckoo with no money and no family ends up quite legally stealing and cheating his way into wealth and property as part of his revenge caused by the pain he inflicts. He did this quite cleverly through marriage and death, yet his cruel actions don’t make the reader hate this disturbed man however much they should, and throughout this essay I will consider all of the various reasons why the audience warm to Heathcliff.
As the story of Heathcliffs life begins Nelly Dean, the nursemaid at Thrushcross Grange, is telling it to a tenant – Mr. Lockwood. As a child Nelly Dean, the daughter of the Earnshaw’s maid used to spend all her time at Wuthering Heights playing with the children. Mr. Earnshaw went away for a trip to Liverpool where on the streets he found the starving, dark skinned, Heathcliff and brought him home to Wuthering Heights, immediately the rest of the family were alarmed and didn’t welcome him and the children rejected him from being in their company.
Cathy warmed to Heathcliff quickly as did Mr. earnshaw and he became his favorite child. However Hindley did not and hated him which made him cruel to heathcliff this is where the reader really feels for heathcliff; a poor fatherless child rejected and bullied by half of his new family and yet never complained; “he would stand Hindley’s blows without winking or shedding a tear, and my pinches moved him only to draw a breath and open his eyes, as if he had hurt himself by accident and nobody was to blame.”
All this plays a part in the view of Heathcliff later on in the book. Growing up Heathcliff and Cathy were best friends, too fond of each other in fact, and when punishment was endured onto either of them it was for them to be separated. But longing to be with one another, one incident which changed this is when they both snuck out and went to thrushcross grange where the lintons lived they wound them up
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