Hareton’s Qualities are described by Nelly Dean as ‘good things lost amoung a wilderness of weeds’ and even Heathcliff admits he is gold put to the use of pavinmg stones’ What is your assesment of this character, and does he deserve the happiness he eventually finds with Cathy? Haretons life was one of cruelty and suffering, with his childhood taken away by the feindishness of Heathcliff. He was described as ‘gold put to the use of paving stones’ but how can such an able boy turn into a ‘swearing’, ‘ rough’ man? Ever since Mr Earnshaw returned from liverpool, and brought back an adopted boy caled Hethcliff, Hindley hated him .
Heathcliff had tempers, hit Hindley, used blackmail, and always got him into trouble. Hindley decided to take revenge on Heathcliff whenever he could, and when Mr Earnshaw died, he received his chance. The land, proporty and inhabitants were all under his control. Hindley ‘trannical personality’ and ‘insane excitement’ was portrayed on the treatment of Hethjcliff. He made him a slve, ‘flogging’, ‘beating’ and ‘swearing’ at him. From that moment on, Healcliff vowed to take retribution on Hindley. Hindley’s wife, Frances, died during the child birth of Hareton Earnshaw, and from that moment on, Nelly Dean decided to be the babies nurturer.
Nelly took over as the motherly figure, gurding Hareton from his fathers ‘mad mans rage’ She would lock him in cupbords, ‘stowing him away in the kitchen’ Even Catherine was aware of his ‘violence’ and ‘evil conduct’. Most of this conduct was due to the ever growing drinking problem Hindley had. Any major part in a childs youth has an effect on him later in life, so it is far to say that the poor father figure he had as a child contributes to his orr behavior as an adult. This part of his child hood in many ways acts as a mirro image of Heathcliff’s own life.
Yet when he moves to Wuthering heights, not even Nelly is there to help, teach and protect Hareton from Heathcliff. Hareton moved to Wuthering Height when he was just five years old, and thae lack of female figures meant that Hraeton was brought up in a ver masculine way, not to mention the ‘cruelty’ and ‘brutalit’ of Heathcliff. The Height is a key part of Hareton’s life. The propoirty is portrayed by Emily Bronti?? as ‘violent’,’rough’ and uncivilised. There are many example of characters being changed for the worse after living at the Heights. This is no exception for Hareton.
Nelly goes to visit her ‘son’ as she describes him, just ten months later. She arrives with high hoipes for the able child, but they are shattered by the distant view of the ‘elf-locked, brown eyed boy’. Heathcliff’s treatment towards Hareton becomes evident when he throws a rock at Nelly followed by a string of curses. Nelly is probably shocked at this because of the dramatic change from just months earlier. Although Haethciffs conduct with areton is ‘rough’ and ‘violent’ and he treates him like a slave; Nelly askes him if he likes Heathcliff, and ironically, ‘aye’ was the answer.
Nelly is quite surprised by this as he also says he hates his real father. This is highlited at the end of the novel when he was the only mourner at Heathcliffs grave. Haretom is always thankfull for what he sees as Heathcliff’s advise. He teachs him how to swear and hate his ‘devil daddy’ Heathcliff aslo takes away Haretons education, telling him to threaten the curate. Later on in thw volume, Heathcliff tells Nelly how he is proud of the way he has treated Hareton, he explains how he treats it as a competition and how he has outdone Hindley.
Heathcliff was beaten and treated badly, although he hated Hindley and yet still got educatiomn. Heathciff has outdone Hindley because Haretonm has been beaten and treated badly also, yet he still loves Heathcliff and has no education. He explaons how it is payback ofr Hindley, and maybe this is why Hareton turned out the way he is, because he was ‘used’ and not treated as an adult. It is not fair to say at all that Hareton is in anyway evil or rough, as Heathcliff himself made Hareton. He moulded him into a mirror image of himself, to show revenge on Hindley.
Haretonm is doing what every one does naturally, he is growing up, yet he has the disadvantage of having Heathcliff and Hindley to look up to and admire. Hareton is doing what he sees as right, because Haethcliff has taught him that it is right to swera and be rough and violent. Heathcliff realises this, and used the all inportant quote’ he is gold out to the use of paving stiones. ‘ Nelly is astounded by his lack of remorse, even happiness for what he has done: ‘if he were born a fool, I shouldnot like it half as much, but he is no fool.
It is aslso argued that the lack of female, and motherly figures in his entire life has conmtributed to his downfall in behavour and consequently sotial status. So again, Heatghcliff has succeeed and overtaken Hindley. Even the lack of female figures is ultimatly becaue of Heathcliff, Healcliff wouldn’t allow any love or education at all. This is true right to the end of the novel when he finds Cathy and Hareton in love. The social status is not only because of the behavour and where he ives, it is also because of the fact that he is treated and acts like a slave or servant.
When lockwood visits the Heights, he even mistakes Hareton for a servant and is surprised to find that he isnt. This is aslso to do with the way hie looks. He takes no pride in his apperence and so is seen as low in society. Hareton has quite a minor role in the next chapters in the novel, as leading roles are played by thhe love relationshipo between Linton-Heathcliff and Cathy. Harrton ids only mentioned when in the room, or doing jobs, sometimes he is hihlighted in the many tempers he has, sometimes violenet, sometimnes just the angry rough attitude about whatever he does or says.
Hareton is now seemingly going down hill willingly, smoking and swearing more than ever, yet this is not totally correct as we see when he makes an attempt to come across differently for Cathy. Again this reminds us of a mirror image. The young Heathcliff smartened himself up for Catherine, as an attempt to impress her after she called him ‘dirty’ an now Hareton has washed, ‘visible by the glow on his cheeks, and wetted hair’ Although this does not work, as he becomes the center of her ammusement in the next chapter.
When Cathy points out to Hareton his name abouvr the alcove of thr door, at wuthering heights, she asks what it means. Hareton, not eduvcated, says he doesn’t know. She calls him a ‘colossal dunce’ and that he ‘looked so stupid. Haretron gets mad, and ‘growls. When Cathy points this out to Nelly, and tells her that it was funny, Nelly scowls at her and tells her off. Nelly points out that she wouldn’t asl be able to read if brought up in his curcumstances. This is absolutly true and makes bold that fact of his upbringing and how it was not his fault. He did not deny his education, he was never given the chpoise to have it.