Character: Heathcliff

Book: Wuthering Heights

Author: Emily Brontë

26 writer: Wendy Sacks Jones 


As a teenager, I lapped up the Gothic romanticism. As a parent, I’m appalled by the child abuse. Social services really must visit Wuthering Heights…


What a wretched journey. Enough wind up here to power the Yorkshire grid. The child Heathcliff – first name or last? – stands before me, breathing mistrust. Unkempt, uncommunicative, uncared for. No formal fostering arrangements. The ‘father’, well-meaning but ineffectual, ‘picked him up’ in Liverpool. Child trafficking? Bruises on body. Racist language – the ‘mother’ refers to ‘that gipsy brat’. NB: urgent case conference recommended. 

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