The main character in Wuthering Heights is Heathcliff. The storyline is primarily centered around his character. Apart from him, there are several essential characters in the story. However, they all take part in Heathcliff’s character development.
It is evident that Heathcliff is the center character in Wuthering Heights. The story describes his life from the earliest childhood to the moment of his death. The narrative uses a multitude of perspectives. Lockwood’s point of view is the main one. He learns the story of the manor’s past inhabitants through diaries and stories. Heathcliff is present in most of them. It indicates that he is the central character in Wuthering Heights.
The image of the novel’s hero appears to the reader as complex. He has a contradictory personality.
Deep feelings and inner passions torment the man. It is both beautiful and ugly, good and evil. The internal conflict of the character attracts the reader. It adds to the complexity and unpredictability of the story.
Wuthering Heights has a lot of imagery. It presents the detailed psychological portrait of the protagonist, as well. The complexity and contradictory nature of Heathcliff make the novel even more relevant.
Although Heathcliff is the central figure of the story, he is neither protagonist nor the novel’s antagonist. He can be considered an anti-hero.
At first, Heathcliff appears to be a person with moral values. He changes due to excessive abuse and hatred. Throughout the story, Heathcliff is both the receiver and the source of injustice and hardship. As the main character of Wuthering Heights grows older, his anger and rage became more prominent. He started to project his feelings onto his adversaries’ children.
A reader can notice the element of madness in Heathcliff’s character, as well. His love for Catherine is so powerful it borders with obsession. He was willing to look at her corpse; he found her corpse beautiful.
There was a moment in the book where Heathcliff was not present. It was during Edgar and Catherine’s wedding ceremony. Despite that, he remains the main character of the novel.
The deception and humiliation that Heathcliff experienced during his childhood influenced the formation of his personality. He undoubtedly has a strong will, and he always achieves his goals. Increased emotionality and impetuosity add up to his wild character. The image of the main character is the image of a rebel. The feeling he has are conflicting most of the time. Heathcliff opposes the existing order and morality. He denies religion and God. His revenge is a rebellion against things he deems injustice and evil.
Heathcliff can be called neither a hero nor a villain. His actions are evil, and he is even known as ‘the devil’ in the book. However, the mystical nature of the character is attractive to the reader. Good and evil in Wuthering Heights are intertwined in the soul of the protagonist. Love and hate, good and evil, accompanied him throughout his life. All these feelings, experiences, and passions are the reflection of Heathcliff’s inner conflict.