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Character Role Analysis

Hindley Earnshaw

Hindley is nothing but a bitter jerk from the very get-go. First, he won't share his bed with his new brother. Then he communicates a desire for his horse to kick Heathcliff's brains out. Nice, dude.

Hindley is the great thwarter, deeply loathing Heathcliff long after Catherine has embraced him. He is jealous, petty, and demeaning, and his example teaches Heathcliff to be that way as well. The only love we ever see him express is for Frances. As Nelly puts it, "he had room in his heart only for two idols—his wife and himself: he doted on both [...]" (8.7).

When Frances dies, that's it. Hindley even repudiates his own son. His embrace of booze and gambling (with a little encouragement from Heathcliff) doesn't earn him much sympathy. Doesn't the fact that his own son refers to him as "Devil daddy" say it all?