Home > Q&A > Literature > What is the Meaning of the Name Heathcliff?
Cite this
Q

What is the Meaning of the Name Heathcliff?

A
The name of the central hero in Wuthering Heights has its origin in English words heath (or heather) and cliff. It means heath growing on a cliff. Careful choice of the name was crucial to reveal Heathcliff’s character in the novel.

Detailed answer:

Heathcliff gets his name from Mr. Ernshaw, his adoptive father. Initially, it was the name of his son who died soon after his birth. Mr. Ernshaw did not bother to give a boy his family name. Heathcliff’s name is also his surname. This fact adds something mysterious to the hero’s image. The name even sounds rare and speaks of distinguishing fate prepared for the person.
Interpreted literally, the name consists of two words combined: heath and cliff. An old Scottish legend has a reflection of it. Heather was the only plant that showed the will to grow on the bare, windswept hillsides at the behest of God. For this, the Lord awarded heather with increased endurance, natural charm, and aroma. Associations with a plant depict Heathcliff as a wild character who loves nature. Remember his wanderings in fields and whereabouts with Cathe daily and nightly?
The ability of a plant to grow on barren land is also a trait of Heathcliff. He endures all the pain and physical suffering, and he is not afraid of death. Gloomy house with dark rooms become his hideout. However, like heather, Heathcliff does not lack natural charm and a kind heart that he hides carefully. Heathcliff was taken away from home by the wind as a plant seed and landed in ungracious soil to survive.
Answer's rating:

IvyPanda
IvyPanda
Answered by IvyPanda
One of our experts with a specialization in Literature has kindly provided an answer to this question. Feel free to rate the answer and let us know if you liked it.

Cite This page

Select a citation style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2021, June 1). What is the Meaning of the Name Heathcliff? https://ivypanda.com/q/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-name-heathcliff/

Reference

IvyPanda. (2021, June 1). What is the Meaning of the Name Heathcliff? Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/q/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-name-heathcliff/

Work Cited

"What is the Meaning of the Name Heathcliff?" IvyPanda, 1 June 2021, ivypanda.com/q/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-name-heathcliff/.

1. IvyPanda. "What is the Meaning of the Name Heathcliff?" June 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-name-heathcliff/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "What is the Meaning of the Name Heathcliff?" June 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-name-heathcliff/.

References

IvyPanda. 2021. "What is the Meaning of the Name Heathcliff?" June 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/q/what-is-the-meaning-of-the-name-heathcliff/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'What is the Meaning of the Name Heathcliff'. 1 June.

Check the price of your paper