Compare the presentation of two male characters, one from “Wuthering Heights” by ‘Emily Brontï¿½’ and one from “To Kill a Mockingbird” by ‘Harper Lee’Pay close attention to their roles as outsiders. Remember to compare the similarities and differences between them. Show your knowledge of both texts.
Use quotations to support points you make. Show knowledge of the life and times that each author is writing in. Show what you understood the term “outsider” to mean.In this essay I plan to explore the presentation of outsiders within the novels “Wuthering Heights” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
I aim to research the life and times of each author.Outsider – someone that is not accepted as part of a group. According to the dictionary “Outsider, (noun). Someone who does not belong to a particular group”In “Wuthering Heights” ‘Heathcliff’ is a known outsider, his family know him yet he is outcast.
Heathcliff is brought into the family after a visit by ‘Mr. Earnshaw’ to Liverpool. He is adopted, which would put strain onto any family relationship anyway. He is treated like a slave.
Heathcliff has no surname, even though he has been adopted. He is merely known as ‘Mr. Heathcliff’.”Wuthering Heights” is a small community, isolated but rugged.
In any community a new-comer is not always welcome. Surrounded by the Yorkshire Moors and stormy weather, the house is built firm. The weather represents Heathcliff’s mood, he is a very stormy character.Even though Heathcliff is an adopted son, Mr.
Earnshaw loves him more than his biological son. “Mr. Heathcliff and I are such a suitable pair to divide the desolation between us capital fellows.”Heathcliff is presented as a “dark horse”, who is supposedly stupid.
However he knows more than anyone will give him credit for. No-one in the Earnshaw household understands Heathcliff more than ‘Catherine’. ‘Nelly’ understands him to a degree, and does feel sympathy for him when Catherine says she cannot marry him not knowing he is near enough to hear. This would show that Nelly and Catherine know him well because they both know he is smart and has true feelings.
Catherine would never have said such things if she knew he was close-by.Heathcliff is quite a mysterious presence in the novel. He is mistreated by the rest of his new-found family. ‘Hindley’ especially disliked him, beating him but to no response.
Heathcliff was evil in a way, plotting his revenge on Hindley, but just hoping that Hindley did not die before he could carry it out. Nelly describes Heathcliff as “hardened, perhaps, to ill-treatment: he would stand Hindley’s blows without winking or shedding a tear.” Heathcliff’s hate for Hindley is not without good reason; it was Hindley who responsible for him giving up his education, and losing Catherine’s love for him. This forces Heathcliff to leave temporarily, on his return he appears to be a new man “tall, athletic, well-formed” but he still harbours a hatred so fierce it destroys his family.
His grief at losing Catherine drives him to be so vicious. To be closer to her, he even digs up her grave, to feel her in his arms again. ‘Cathy’ sees Heathcliff for what he really is, “Nobody loves you – nobody will cry for you when you die!”It is only when Heathcliff dies that his misery is over. He is presented as a mean, ruthful, stubborn man, but in fact his nastiness stems back to when he was mistreated as a child and a new-comer to the Earnshaw family, when he loses Catherine to ‘Edgar Linton’ because to marry Heathcliff would be top downgrade herself, Heathcliff.
This whole story is set in a stormy place with a stormy theme. “Wuthering Heights” suggests a place battered by the wind. “”Wuthering” being a significant provincial adjective, descriptive of the atmospheric tumult to which its station is exposed in during stormy weather.” The author ‘Emily Brontï¿½’ lived in the Yorkshire moors; so can identify with the loneliness and isolation.
The story is set in 1801, a time when you could only travel via horse or foot, and once it was dark that was it. Not being able to travel quickly would isolate you further, especially living in a remote place. As there were no street lights, travelling by night would have been dangerous.In “To Kill a Mockingbird” the outsider is ‘Arthur (Boo) Radley’.
He is a white man who got into trouble. Everyone in Maycomb knows the gossip, but nobody knows the real ‘Boo’. The name “Boo” came about from ‘Miss. Stephanie Crawford’ (the local gossip) because he was so ghost like when staring in at her window during the night, there is nothing to say whether this is true or not but still the name stuck.
Boo was treated as an outsider, because he got in with the wrong crowd and rather than be sent to prison or a reform school, his father ‘Mr. Radley’ kept him at home, for twenty five years. Mr. Radley was a very particular man, leaving for town at the same time ach day and returning at the same time too.
The Radley’s weren’t like the other families in Maycomb; they didn’t go to church or go for Sunday tea at the neighbour’s houses. They kept themselves to themselves. The Radley family were out casting the rest of the community from their private lives. They never bothered anybody on purpose and kept their lives secret.
It was a rumour that Boo stabbed his father in the leg with a pair of scissors whilst cutting a newspaper for scraps. This was a true rumour, but never the less was spread by Miss. Stephanie Crawford.Unlike Heathcliff in “Wuthering Heights” nobody really knew the real Boo or his family.
They were isolated within an isolated community. Heathcliff was part of the community yet he was outcast from it. The segregation in Maycomb caused much if the isolation, whereas the surroundings isolated Wuthering Heights. The Radley family were in a community of a fair amount of people, the Earnshaw’s were they only family in the area, the Linton’s were the closest to neighbours they had.
People could see Heathcliff, they could not see Boo. People were left to make up their own minds about Boo; Miss. Stephanie Crawford provided the fuel for much of this. ‘Jem’, ‘Scout’ and ‘Dil’ made up their minds about him whilst playing a game.
“Why do you think Miss. Rachel locks up so tight at night?” Boo was made out to be some kind of stalker, who prowled at people’s windows. Nobody in the community even knew what Boo looked like. “Boo was about six-and-a-half feet tall, judging from his tracks; he dined on raw squirrels and any cats he could catch, that’s why his hands were blood-stained-if you ate an animal raw, you could never was the blood off.
” This makes Boo out to be some kind of savage monster, not even eating what people normally ate. “There was a long jagged scar that runs across his face; what teeth he had were yellow and rotten; his eyes popped; and he drooled most of the time.” This was Jem’s description of Boo to Dil. The children had never even seen Boo, but the community had installed an automatic fear of him within them.
The story in this case was written by ‘Harper Lee’, it was first published in 1960, but the story is set in the 1930s amidst the depression, a time where everything went slowly and nobody was very rich.Both characters are outsiders because they aren’t known or understood by their community. They have a distinct air of mystery about them, but unlike Heathcliff, Boo is not so evil or vicious; he is more scared than vengeful. Both characters are similar in ways, but under different circumstances.
Heathcliff is not part of a community like Boo. Boo’s entire family are outcast in a way, by not worshipping in church or seeing the rest of the community on a Sunday. “The Radley’s, welcome anywhere in town, kept themselves to themselves, a predilection unforgivable in Maycomb. They did not go to church, Maycomb’s principle recreation, but worshipped at home; Mrs.
Radley seldom if ever crossed the street for a mid-morning coffee break with her neighbours, and certainly never joined the missionary circle. Mr. Radley walked into town at eleven-thirty every morning and came back promptly at twelve, sometimes carrying a brown paper bag that the neighbours assumed contained the family groceries.”The Radley family were Baptist, maybe the church in Maycomb was another denomination, it does not state what denomination the church is in the novel.
Being part of an outcast family certainly set you up as an outsider, but Boo was an outsider because he didn’t’ mix with the community. Heathcliff’s family are isolated rather than outcast. There are two families in “Wuthering Heights”, The Earnshaws and The Lintons; both are still some distance from each other.Both of the characters’ names reflect them.
Boo, because he is ghostly, unsociable and isolated. Heathcliff reflects his stormy nature and his surroundings in the moors. Throughout each novel both characters change, Boo at the start is feared and unknown, whereas by the end of the book he comes out and is gentle and scared, unsure and curios “Every move he made was uncertain, as if he were not sure his hands and feet could make proper contact with the things he touched.” However it is not Boo that changes, but the communities ideas of him.
Heathcliff at the start of the book is unknown, fiery and somewhat hardened, as he leaves for a while and comes back a new man, “A half-civilised ferocity lurked yet in the depressed brows and eyes full of black fire, but it was subdued; and his was even dignified, quite divested of roughness though too stern for grace.” Yet the old Heathcliff still lurked in there, vengeful thoughts and evil plans still loomed. Heathcliff still had his revenge to take out. We start to understand the characters more as the books progress.
Both characters are stereotyped, Boo as being evil and a trouble maker, just because of his youth; Heathcliff as being stupid and weak. Heathcliff has a major advantage over Boo, he can escape, Boo cannot.