– Heathcliff And Daz Essay, Research Paper
How do the writers of ?Wuthering Heights? and ?Daz 4 Zoe? influence their audience?s opinions of the main characters? Discuss with reference to Heathcliff and Daz.Throughout the history of English novels, authors? intricate techniques hold the power to entrap and sustain an audience, conveying manipulative messages through, characters, language and setting. This subtly moulds the many interpretations into one powerful impression, which a huge, combined audience can easily follow and enjoy.
The elaborate contradictory structure surrounding the main protagonist, Heathcliff, of Emily Bront?s tragic romance, ?Wuthering Heights?, subtly evokes the empathy of those who read, causing:-
?an unreclaimed creature, without refinement, without cultivation: an arid wilderness of furze and whinstone?.
to become heroic, through his passionate devotion to Catherine using the empathetic, Bildungsroman structure of the novel to enhance our admiration for him.
Bront? creates for us, the audience, a deep, entangled romance, twisting our emotions using the views and traits of the many characters to influence the plot, forming an extremely convincing novel. Both Nelly Dean, and Lockwood are key narrative characters in the plot, but their different upbringings and social status allows us to dismiss certain comments and remember others.
Our first encounter with Heathcliff is as a mature adult, and related by Lockwood. The portrayal of Heathcliff is that of a suspicious, rude, unmannered man, with a dark air of mystery and evil. Yet, Lockwood described him as a ?gentleman?, saying:
?he has an erect and handsome figure?
As the novel moves on, the plot moves backwards in time, using the unusual, ghostly experiences of Lockwood in the initial chapters, as a page turner, making us, the audience eager to read on.
From the very beginning of the novel, Bront? creates great sympathy for the:
?dirty, ragged, black haired child?
known to the Earnshaws only as ?Heathcliff?, as he spent the first years of his childhood as an orphan, wandering alone in the streets of Liverpool. This is already gently forcing the audience to subconsciously, forgive Heathcliff for any following mistakes he may make.
Once adopted into the Earnshaw family, Heathcliff was doted on by his new father Mr. Earnshaw, who strongly favoured him over his daughter, Catherine, and son, Hindley. However, this continual devotion soon sparked anger and jealousy. Hindley grew to despise Heathcliff, taunting, and beating him whenever the opportunity arose. Heathcliff was brought, from this spitefulness, to lead his life, continually planning ways to seek revenge on his new-found enemy:
?he grew bitter with brooding over these injuries?
This acrimony lowered his character dramatically, turning him erratic and bad ? tempered. However to counter this fall, Bront? ensures that the structure surrounding this area forces the audience only to notice Heathcliff?s mistreatment, and not his deep bitterness towards Hindley.
Catherine, Earnshaw?s daughter, after the initial disgust, grew to love Heathcliff in such a way that the pair became inseparable soul mates; nobody could keep them apart. Every day they spent together, they became closer:
?The greatest punishment we could invent for her was to keep her separate from him?
Heathcliff respected Catherine with such abundance that he would even jeopardise his own safety for her well being without a second thought, as shown in their first encounter with Thrushcross Grange when Catherine was bitten by the Lintons? guard dog. Heathcliff instantly attacked the viscous dog in an attempt to save her. This protective nature clearly implies that Heathcliff thinks more highly of Catherine than himself, and would do anything to keep her happy and safe. This creates a powerful devotion, which deepens throughout the course of the book. Bront? clearly conveys through this relationship, Heathcliff?s heroism, passion, and limitless fidelity.
Heathcliff and Catherine?s first experience of children outside of Wuthering Heights, seems to be an important aspect to be marked in the novel. Both children were equally disgusted by the behaviour of Edgar and Isabella Linton, who were fighting over a young puppy, selfishly tearing it to pieces! Heathcliff later states to Nelly:-
?When would you catch me wishing to have what Catherine wanted??
Heathcliff would not dream of fighting with Catherine over something so trivial. If she wanted something Heathcliff possessed, then he would openly give it to her, which shows hidden generosity and his complete selflessness in love. Bront? has given us yet another positive characteristic of Heathcliff.
The disgraceful treatment and taunting of Heathcliff when briefly brought into the Linton household, skilfully balances the cursing, angry language displayed by him in return. The wound forced Catherine to stay with the Lintons whilst Heathcliff was cast out of the house. He would have obviously have been angry and upset, but it is the snobbery and unjust attitude of the Lintons which annoys the audience intensely.
Bront? continues to repeat these expert subtleties to cancel out any disagreeable emotions the audience may accumulate whilst reading, giving Heathcliff excuses and reasons for his deplorable actions. She achieves, in return, sympathetic, understanding or even admiring attitudes from his incentive manner, which inevitably transforms Heathcliff into the heroic character.
After Mr. Earnshaw?s death, Hindley, who had been sent away to boarding school, returned to inherit Wuthering Heights. It did not take long for him to cast Heathcliff out of the house:
?He drove him from their company to the servants, deprived him of the instructions of the curate, and insisted that he should labour out of doors instead; compelling him to do as hard as any other lad on the farm.?
Heathcliff?s education was suddenly brought to a halt, yet his speech did not fail anywhere near as dramatically as Joseph?s, who constantly spoke with a broad Yorkshire accent. This tiny detail shows a hidden strength and willingness to be more of a success than his master, Hindley will allow. In addition, Bronte was well aware that her 19th century audience could not fully empathise with a colloquial speaker.
Catherine?s love of Heathcliff was subtly passionate, yet in some aspects quite selfish, as she learns to love Edgar Linton also, after her stay at Thrushcross Grange, practically ignoring Heathcliff. She says to Nelly Dean:-
?It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now.?
Heathcliff unfortunately heard Catherine say this, and was deeply hurt by the rejection; he felt the need to escape, so chose to leave, not to be seen again by anybody for several years. In his eyes, the only reason Catherine chose Edgar over him was his lack of money and education. He knew that in her heart, Catherine loved him more. She seemed only to be worried by other?s perceptions about her and is bound to social standards to marry Linton, as he is Heathcliff?s complete opposite and her decision will be respected by others.
Just after Heathcliff has left the room, she states:-
?My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I?m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff!?
She clearly states here, through similes describing the Yorkshire scenery, that she is dependant on, and could not imagine life without Heathcliff, though she is seriously contemplating marrying Edgar Linton. She knows that her marriage with Edgar would eventually fade, but the relationship Heathcliff has fought so hard to keep hold of would be lost. She would eventually lose Heathcliff completely, and suffer the emotional isolation she hates to speak of. Eventually Edgar would be unable to fulfil her love; he would become jealous of Heathcliff, leading to conflict in the future. She does not seem to realise, that Heathcliff?s life would be torn apart by her absence as he feels he cannot survive without her.
Bront? is already making the audience feel intense pity for Heathcliff, who, at this point in the novel would seem to be the most favourable character, and the greatest victim.
When Heathcliff returned, he was a gentleman, wearing expensive clothing, and with an educated accent:
?He had grown a tall, athletic, well-formed man;?
Bront? cleverly allowed his new-found wealth to remain as much of a mystery as Heathcliff?s own past. Regardless of how Heathcliff acquired his wealth, we are overjoyed at his ability to rise above his ill treatment and prove his tormentors wrong.
Catherine was ecstatic with joy over his unexpected return, though her husband, Linton was not so thrilled with the unwanted intrusion in his peaceful marriage. Linton was instantly cold with fury over Catherine?s happiness. Isabella Linton, foolishly shared Catherine?s delight over Heathcliff as she felt:
?a sudden and irresistible attraction towards the tolerated guest?
Heathcliff used Isabella?s sudden love to his advantage, though he did not return her affection, he realised it would become advantageous for him to become her ?next of kin?, in a conspiracy to inherit Thrushcross Grange.
It is after Heathcliff?s return that we begin to see the darker, and more devious sides of his character. Bront? attempts to balance these flaws with the implication that many of the disgraceful things he does are in the name of ?love?, but she cannot excuse him all of the time, as it seems that greed and revenge are his only objectives. Therefore, she uses several of the key characters to balance out the negative qualities so clearly put forward.
Bront? begins by creating a subtle hatred for Isabella, as Catherine clearly warns her of Heathcliff?s nature:
?a fierce, pitiless, wolfish man?
Yet Isabella?s ignorant, na?ve character ignored the warning, making the audience have little sympathy for the young woman when Heathcliff used, and even beaten her. Bront? repeats this device when Heathcliff all but murders Hindley. Hindley was attempting to kill Heathcliff, albeit with provocation, and Heathcliff had been bullied for most of his childhood by Hindley. His final revenge borders Biblical justice. To add to this effect, both of these events were told either by Nelly Dean, or sometimes in epistolary form through Isabella?s letter. At this time, Isabella?s views would be seen as extremely biased because of her unpleasant relationship with Heathcliff. Both parties strongly disliked Heathcliff at the time in question, and because of the flaws already shown in their characters, would they probably exaggerate the facts, making Heathcliff appear more of a tyrant. Bront?s use of unreliable narrator, therefore adds to the defence of her ?hero?.
As the novel moves onto young Cathy?s life, Heathcliff unjustly gains possession of not only Wuthering Heights, but also Thrushcross Grange, viciously scheming to fulfil his greed, even forcing marriage upon the next generation, until there was nothing more he could take from them, and had sole ownership and control of everything, and everyone. Heathcliff even used his only son to steal Thrushcross Grange from Edgar and Cathy. As Edgar says to Nelly:
?Heathcliff gained his ends, and triumphed in robbing me of my last blessing?
Linton?s part in Heathcliff?s conspiracy, was to trick Cathy into consenting to marry him, whilst it was clear his son was dying, therefore once her father died, all that they owned would be inherited by Heathcliff. This immoral use of his own son as a greedy tool, is still lessened by the way Bront? makes us feel an instant dislike to Linton?s feeble character, described as:
?a heartless, selfish boy!?
which gives the audience little sympathy. We cannot condone Heathcliff?s actions but we find it equally difficult to set ourselves on the side of Linton.
One of the few characters at this point we, as the audience actually sympathise with, is young Hareton, who strangely seemed to be the one person Heathcliff was fond of, although Heathcliff treated him so terribly. Hareton was born into an almost exact circumstance as Heathcliff himself, but instead of Heathcliff empathising with him, he treated him terribly, as a sign of hatred towards Hareton?s father, inflicting the same on Hareton as done by Hindley to him, in his earlier years of life in Wuthering Heights. Although this seems to be purely revenge, Hareton still loves Heathcliff as a father and this love is quietly, subtly returned:
?I asked if he liked Mr. Heathcliff. ?Ay!? he answered?
This shows that although Bront? has made Heathcliff seem cruel, Hareton does not really suffer, apart from the shame he feels later on, which is overcome in the final chapters by Cathy. Once again, Bront? has given us another, valuably positive balance, guiding the structure towards Heathcliff?s favour.
One of Bront?s most effective techniques is mentioned in David Cecil?s ?Early Victorian Novelists? He describes this as the concept of ?calm? and ?storm?, the latter given in the wild, exotic, overgrown features of Withering Heights; deep in the unpredictable, isolated Yorkshire moors.
?bleak winds and bitter northern skies.?
This offers a dramatic contrast to the clean, well-mannered, and ?calm? nature of Thrushcross Grange, with its well-cultivated, pleasant, summery, gardens. These contrasting environments inevitably influence the occupants behaviour, as Heathcliff became a passionately obsessed brutal murder, whilst Edgar Linton, became a loving husband and caring father. Yet, Cecil?s theory clearly links negative action with negative influence, the idea that Heathcliff?s experiences and environment must take the blame for his terrible actions.
Our opinions of Heathcliff have been formed purely in reaction to Emily Bront?s manipulative techniques. She has made us, the audience, see Heathcliff as a hero, but yet a tyrant, and has twisted our thoughts to exhibit a character of a perfect fundamental dichotomy. She has used the devices and intricate techniques of her time to manipulate our views and reactions to the main protagonists within her novel. We can now extend our analytical approach to equate the devices used by modern 20th / 21st Century novelists.
?Daz 4 Zoe?, by Robert Swindells shares some of the many technical characteristics of ?Wuthering Heights?. In both cases couples struggle to survive the difficulties of their times, and have to overcome either physical or mental boundaries to fulfil their love. The traits, and social constraints in each environment become the main threat to each of the four main protagonists? inner happiness. Both Daz, and Heathcliff?s characters share come similar qualities and traits, and it will be interesting to discover whether Swindells conveys his messages as effectively and as intricately as Bront? has done so magnificently.
The contrasting environments Swindells has contrived are wonderfully different, yes two strangers break from their opposite circles of hatred, and attempt to live in harmony together in a desperate fight for love. The whole of ?Daz 4 Zoe? is written in a modern diary form, which gives us a direct insight into the thoughts of the narrative characters.
The factor which seems to give the most initial impact is the dramatic difference in the style of writing Swindells uses in the two opposing sides of the diary, Daz? phonetic spelling, and Zoe?s well educated vocabulary. This is one of the first points both authors? have in common and is used to add humour, yet sometimes create pity for the characters, and move the audience:
?Na-ay! Yah muh goa back whear yah coom frough.?(WH)
?2 lornorders com tel our mam, 1 wummin, 1 man, nor they don?t come til after thay dunnit neever.?(D4Z)
The obvious sense of Daz? lack of education in the initial lines creates and extremely sympathetic view of him, similarly in Wuthering Heights when such sympathy is created for Heathcliff over the misfortunate events of his early life. Bront? and Swindells are both aiming for this approach, desiring us to admire and pity the key male characters, before the plot moves on and these feelings can be reduced. Over all, they both successfully increase our respect and admiration for the two principal characters.
On the contrary, when we are introduced to Zoe, we are hit with the instant sense of her intelligence. We also see her as a genuinely pleasant character, who is prepared to stand up to what she believes in because of her non-judgemental views on the tender subject of ?Chippies?:
?I bet they?re the same as everybody else, really,?
We automatically seem to trust her views, as she seems very aware of the contrasting environments and is not unduly influenced by other people?s opinions. This is one of Zoe?s greatest strengths as, unlike Catherine, she is prepared even to become socially isolated, to fight for what she personally believes is right.
Swindells throws in a description of Daz relatively early in the plot, using Zoe?s intelligence as a tool, our faith in her, allowing us to believe her opinion:
?I wish you could see him. Your knees?d go weak, he?s so brilliant.?
This is the first descriptive message we have of Daz, and because we have already begun to build up a sense of trust for Zoe, it seems an accurate one, although it seems a very juvenile statement. We always see the best of Daz in Zoe?s descriptions, similarly to Catherine and Heathcliff; Heathcliff nearly always seems more heroic because of Cathy. This has manipulated us in both cases by influencing our opinions of the main characters by enhancing the positive comments put forward by other, reliable characters in the novel.
We begin to see the less attractive traits of Daz? character through his attitude towards revenging ?Subbies?:
?that?s wot Dreds all about. Killing Subbys. You cant join til 15 and now I am so watch out you basteds i?ll show you topping our Del.?
It is here that we see Daz? intense hate for ?Subbies?, he has not yet met Zoe in the plot, but we see how his attitude is similar to Heathcliff?s, when brooding, over his mistreatment by Hindley. Although we feel as though this aversion is well deserved, and even appropriate, as both Swindells and Bront? have created just reasons for these attitudes. The death of Daz? brother Del has obviously taken a great impact on his outlook on life, and of ?Subbies?, as it was presumably the ?Subby? police who killed him. We still see Daz as extremely violent here, as we, as the audience, have social attitudes as ?Subbies?, but we also sympathise with him because of his bereavement.
We can also see huge similarities to ?Wuthering Heights? by using Cecil?s principle of ?calm and storm? again. The tremendous contrasts in the environments, are seen in the personality of each character, even more so than in Wuthering Heights. Daz for instance lived among:
?Piles of brick and glass and cement everywhere, all smashed up?…?Cans and bottles, plastic bags, filthy mattresses, the skeletons of baby ? buggies, you name it.?
This is one of the many dramatic portrayals of Rawhampton, recounted again by Zoe, using our trust to enhance these descriptions and turn them to reality. Conversely Silverdale is:
?Safe and snug. Nothing can touch you. Nothing can hurt you. There are no hassles here. No problems.?
but still not everybody is happy here. It is described many times as a cage, which is why ?Chippying? is so popular with the younger generations who want some excitement in their lives. This is exactly what Zoe finds herself partaking in, and it is through ?Chippying? that she meets Daz:
?just another Chippy guy in a beat up leather jacket and wild, greasy-looking hair, but he turned round and our eyes met and that was it.?
This is the first sign of any romance between the two, and although they are complete opposites, Zoe is attracted to him. The same happens with Heathcliff and Catherine, she knows she has better educated, and socially more respected, but still finds herself falling in love with him.
This is one of the most important aspects within the plot, as Daz heroically saves Zoe, and her friends, from serious harm, in ?Blue Moon?, where they foolishly got themselves into trouble with Dred.
?You better leave with me. Now.?
Daz saves Zoe?s life at this point, by overcoming his upbringing as using his moral judgements, mixed with natural instincts and experience to save her. This brave gesture to strangers he has been brought up to hate, also shows that Daz has his own opinions, although they are greatly influenced by his society. Swindells is creating further respect for Daz by showing that even though his education is lacking dramatically, his morals are at least in the right direction, and his courage was going against everything he has been taught to do in such a situation. The irony is that Daz was in the bar on that night for his first meeting with Dred, he would soon be murdering ?Subbies? certainly not saving them, which again heightens our respect for him. Similarly, Bront? creates equal respect for Heathcliff when he caught baby Hareton, as he was thrown from the stairs by Hindley. Heathcliff hated Hindley with such passion, the last thing he wanted to save his child, yet his instincts, and morals made it an almost reflex action for him, and so he saved Hareton?s life. Both novelists are creating positive points for the two essential male characters, which inevitably counters their negative actions.
As the novel moves on , we begin to discover more about both Daz and Zoe. We learn that in fact, although Daz has been brought up to have typical rough features, his judgements of ?right? and ?wrong? are well adjusted for his age group and is a genuinely caring, intelligent individual, who is even prepared to reveal week feelings when confronted with fear:
?scairt and not even started yet.?
Swindells is continually enhancing our sympathy by adding these details and we eventually build up quite a strong sense of respect for him. Bront? only shows us one weaker area in Heathcliff?s demeanour; he sometimes portrayed to be ashamed of what he has become; though, Daz also blatantly shows this:
?ashamed ov yor movver, ashamed ov yor hoam.?
As the plot reaches a climax in the final chapters of the novel, Dred captures Daz, and Zoe. They use Zoe as a tool to get Daz from his hiding place, threatening to kill her if he does not show himself. Once out, Cal, makes a dramatic speech about torturing Daz, making his death the most slow and painful way possible. The end of that chapter was accomplished brilliantly as the incredible suspense of the moment, makes the audience hold their breath:
?He stooped, thrusting the gun into the crook of Daz?s knee. I cringed and turned my face away as the shot rang out.?
Swindells composed these seconds perfectly, as the audience is compelled to instantly rush to the next chapter, where they find the final, unexpected twist in the plot. Daz is found unharmed, and Dred and the police engaged in a spectacular firefight, with Cal, the Dred ?ring-leader? in agony, wounded on the floor. Daz and Zoe then make a successful escape from the city and as the novel closes we see them sitting on top of the hill which divides the city and the suburbs, commenting that in darkness it was impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. The closing sentence is a brilliant ending, leaving the audience to wonder how the life, which lies ahead of the two youngsters, will follow.
Swindells has used ?Daz 4 Zoe? as a distinct warning of the impending future, a foresight of what may happen if the increasing divide between our cities widens further. He has achieved this excellently, though one major difference, and perhaps disadvantage between his and Bront?s work, is the targeted audience. Swindells has aimed his piece at a younger, teenage audience, which although this has been accomplished well, there is definitely an age barrier, where once beyond teenage years the novel loses its effectiveness. I also feel it would be difficult for a middle-aged audience to fully relate to Daz? character, and find him attractive , whereas Bront? has cleverly enabled Heathcliff?s character to seem ageless. The same difference occurs with the story line, as Daz has a very na?ve view of life, and believes it was ?luck? when he met her in Silverdale. To a teenage audience, this is romantic, but for older audiences this is improbable, and the loss of realism is detrimental. Within ?Wuthering Heights?, although the style and use of vocabulary may be difficult to comprehend for lower ability readers, a huge variety of people can enjoy the plot. I therefore feel Bront? more successfully manipulates a much wider audience than Swindells, creating a timeless classic, which will be eternally notorious for its unusual, yet pragmatic characters and plot.
This is my major comp essay written in 2000. Got me an A* at GCSE under the title of: “How do the writers of ?Wuthering Heights? and ?Daz 4 Zoe? influence their audience?s opinions of the main characters? Discuss with reference to Heathcliff and Daz.” This essay took me a whole goddam year to write so I hope it can be of use to you!!