Heathcliff vs Snape : a study in contrasts

kahaniwaale - the art of storytelling

I recently concluded my reading of Wuthering heights. Emily Bronte’s only novel, this is a tale of utmost passion and violence. Throughout the narrative, the one character that captured much of my imagination was one Mr. Heathcliff. Brought in as an abandoned orphan and abused by his foster brother, he develops a lifelong bitterness against those who wronged him. The reader is struck dumb by the ruthless violence he exhibits in the subsequent years, leading to him being rightly billed as the anti- hero. As one reviewer held, the only reason that seemed to redeem his fiendish soul was his unflinching love for Catherine.

As I mulled over the story, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between him and a more contemporary character, that of Severus Snape. Snape too, had a neglected childhood, was maltreated by his father and later his Hogwarts’ mates. He, much like Heathcliff, could not…

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